NEW DELHI: The three-party alliance government in Maharashtra is "of extortion (vasuli), by extortion and for extortion", senior BJP leader and Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said on Tuesday and added that the Uddav Thackeray-led dispensation has lost the moral right to govern the state.
The BJP's scathing attack on the Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress alliance government came following former Mumbai Police commissioner Param Bir Singh's allegation that the state's Home Minister Anil Deshmukh had set a Rs 100-crore collection target for the police every month.
Prasad said it was the first time in the country's history that a police commissioner levelled such a charge against a home minister.
"When the target of one minister is Rs 100 crore, how much will it be of the remaining ministers," asked Prasad.
Addressing a press conference at the BJP headquarters here, Prasad said, "A 'khela' (game) is going on in Maharashtra. What's happening in the state is not 'vikas' (development), it is 'vasuli' (extortion)."
Dubbing the Maharashtra dispensation as "the most confused government", Prasad said the ruling coalition partners themselves don't know what is happening in the state and who is running the show.
Prasad said the Maharashtra government led by Shiv Sena leader Uddhav Thackeray has lost the right to govern the state as "it is a government of vasuli (extortion), by vasuli and for vasuli."
Taking on NCP supremo Sharad Pawar, Prasad said the political credibility of the senior leader has taken a hit and that he was forced to speak a patent falsehood for defending his party colleague and state home minister Deshmukh.
Prasad further said Pawar's credibility can be restored only if he ensures resignation of Deshmukh.
Days after he was shunted out, former Mumbai Police commissioner Singh wrote a letter to Thackeray alleging that the state home minister had asked Sachin Waze, currently in custody of the National Investigation Agency (NIA), and other police officers to collect Rs 100 crore monthly, including Rs 50 crore to Rs 60 crore from bars and restaurants in Mumbai.
Deshmukh had denied these allegations.
The NIA is probing Waze's alleged role in placing an explosives-laden SUV outside industrialist Mukesh Ambani's residence on February 25.
The SUV was in possession of Thane-based businessman Mansukh Hiran, who was found dead at a creek near Mumbai.
The case related to the death of Hiran was also handed over to the NIA.