After former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh alleged that tainted police officer Sachin Vaze had a meeting with Anil Deshmukh wherein he was asked by the Home Minister to extort money from business owners in Mumbai, NCP chief Sharad Pawar has come in the defence of Deshmukh, alleging that he was in the hospital from February 6-16 and was later under quarantine from February 16 to 27.
However, the castle of lies came tumbling down pretty quickly.
Soon, it was discovered that while Pawar claimed that Param Bir Singh could not have met Anil Deshmukh since he was in hospital till the 16th and thereafter was under home quarantine, there was pretty compelling evidence that it could be lie.
It was discovered that on the 15th of February, Anil Deshmukh was conducting a rather public press conference with swaths of media present. He had shared the video of that press conference himself.
In fact, on February 8, a delegation of the Congress party had met Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh to assert that Indian celebrities reacted to Rihanna’s tweet under pressure from the Bharatiya Janata Party.
Thereafter, Anil Deshmukh too came out with a statement to defend a seeming lie that was already furthered by Sharad Pawar. Deshmukh said, “A few journalists were waiting for me at the hospital gate after I got discharged on 15th February. I was feeling low and weak so I sat on the chair there and responded to their questions. Then I went straight to my car and went home,” Deshmukh said. “I was in home quarantine from February 15th to 27th. I stepped out of my house for the first time on February 28th” he added.
That lie too, however, was dismantled rather quickly.
Turns out, on February 18, Anil Deshmukh was seen paying tributes to a police officer who worked as a security guard at his bungalow in Nagpur. The pictures were posted by Deshmukh himself.
It is rather baffling that Sharad Pawar and Anil Deshmukh genuinely thought that they could get away with blatant lies.
However, there are more questions that they need to answer.
Question 1: What was the prescription waved around by Sharad Pawar. Was it fabricated?
NCP supremo Sharad Pawar today waved a prescription in front of the reporters when he was questioned about whether Anil Deshmukh was truly hospitalised between the period February 6 to 16 as alleged by him. During his press conference, journalists had raised doubts about his claim that Deshmukh was in hospital from February 6 to 16 as he was down with the coronavirus. They cited a press conference addressed by Deshmukh on February 15 to raise questions on Pawar’s assertions.
In response, Pawar waved the prescription in front of the reporters and reiterated his comments that Deshmukh was advised to be hospitalised because he was suffering from the coronavirus. Now the question that naturally arises is what was the prescription about? Was it just a letter of recommendation from doctors advising Mr Deshmukh to get admitted to the hospital or actual evidence that would prove that the Home Minister was in the hospital during the time period mentioned by Sharad Pawar?
It is also worth noting that Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh had met a contingent of Congress leaders on February 8 who had come to his office demanding a probe into the tweets posted by Indian celebrities in response to Rihanna’s post calling for a discussion on the Farm laws. Given these discrepancies, the natural question that arises is was it a fabricated prescription that was obtained to extricate Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh from the predicament he finds himself in after the explosive revelations by ex-top cop Param Bir Singh.
Question 2: When Anil Deshmukh addressed the press conference in person, why did Sharad Pawar say he did it online?
Earlier today, when journalists confronted Sharad Pawar with the fact that Anil Deshmukh was not in the hospital during the time period between February 6 to 16 and that he had attended a press conference on February 15, Pawar tried to summarily dismiss it by claiming that Deshmukh had attended a virtual conference.
However, as can be seen from the tweet posted by Anil Deshmukh on February 15, the press conference had happened in person and was not a virtual one as alleged by the NCP chief. Since the fact of the matter does not jibe with Pawar’s assertions, it raises a question as to why Sharad Pawar lied that Anil Deshmukh attended a virtual conference. Did Sharad Pawar invent a virtual conference just like he invented a bomb blast in Masjid Bunder back in 1993? Did he claim that Anil Deshmukh addressed a virtual conference to dispel questions raised on Deshmukh’s alleged hospitalisation?
Question 3: If Anil Deshmukh was indeed hospitalised, why did he endanger lives by addressing a press conference outside the hospital?
Even if one believes that the prescription waved by Sharad Pawar was authentic and that Anil Deshmukh was indeed hospitalised and being struck with the coronavirus, what was so important for him to attend a press conference outside the hospital?
The press conference that was addressed by Deshmukh allegedly outside the hospital was on any pressing issue. In fact, it was related to the celebrities coming out in support of the Indian government after popstar Rihanna and some international names had deviously tried to internationalise the ongoing ‘farmers’ protests. Was it really necessary for Anil Deshmukh, who was down with COVID-19 as per Pawar, to come out in the media and declare that an inquiry has been ordered to ascertain if the Bollywood celebrities were coerced by the BJP to tweet in their support?
Question 4: If Anil Deshmukh was struck with coronavirus, why did he endanger the lives of media persons and reporters by attending a press conference outside the hospital?
Another looming question that arises is if Anil Deshmukh was infected with coronavirus as has been alleged by Sharad Pawar in his press conference, then why did he defy coronavirus guidelines by coming out in public and addressing the press conference?
शेतकरी आंदोलनाच्या मुद्यावर सेलिब्रिटीजनी केलेल्या ट्विटसंदर्भात माझ्या वक्तव्याचा विपर्यास करण्यात आला. सेलिब्रिटीजची चौकशी करा, असे माझे आदेश नव्हते. या प्रकरणात भाजपच्या आयटी सेलचा सहभाग असण्याची शक्यता वाटल्याने मी त्यांच्या चौकशीचे आदेश दिले होते. लता मंगेशकर आमचे दैवत (१/२) pic.twitter.com/WBdtzUH2x1— ANIL DESHMUKH (@AnilDeshmukhNCP) February 15, 2021
Moreover, as one can see in the video, Anil Deshmukh was not wearing mask while he was addressing the media outside the hospital. By disregarding the coronavirus guidelines, did he not endanger the lives of reporters and media professionals who were there with him during his press conference on February 15? Were the journalists informed that Anil Deshmukh was tested positive for the coronavirus? Even after being tested positive for coronavirus, as alleged by Pawar and as Deshmukh would later claim, why did he not wear mask while interacting with the media?
Question 5: Why did Anil Deshmukh attend the last rites of his security guard on February 18 when he was self admittedly under quarantine from Feb 15 to 28th?
After questions were raised of the loopholes in Sharad Pawar’s assertions in his press conference, like a loyal deputy, Anil Deshmukh jumped in to his defence, clarifying that the press conference he had addressed on February 15 was from outside the hospital after he got discharged.
“A few journalists were waiting for me at the hospital gate after I got discharged on 15th February. I was feeling low and weak so I sat on the chair there and responded to their questions. Then I went straight to my car and went home,” Deshmukh said.
“I was in home quarantine from February 15th to 27th. I stepped out of my house for the first time on February 28th” he said.
I was in home quarantine from February 15th to 27th. I stepped out of my house for the first time on February 28th: Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh— ANI (@ANI) March 22, 2021
Deshmukh claimed that he did not step out of his house from February 15 to February 27. However, if one parses through his Twitter account, it becomes apparent that the Maharashtra Home Minister was lying through his teeth. On February 18, Deshmukh posted photos of a solemn ceremony carried out to pay tributes to one of his security guards who had died in a tragic accident. Clearly, the minister was not under quarantine as claimed by him and Sharad Pawar.
My wife Arti Deshmukh & I paid our last respect to police officer Sanjay Naranware who passed away in a tragic accident. He worked as a security guard at my bungalow in Nagpur. With Sanjay’s departure, we have lost one of our family members. We also met his family& consoled them. pic.twitter.com/pRpLdrPPvn— ANIL DESHMUKH (@AnilDeshmukhNCP) February 18, 2021
From the photos, it is evident that Deshmukh, along with his family members attended the ceremony where a large number of people had gathered. Deshmukh’s wife could be seen consoling the widow of the slain policeman. If Deshmukh was suffering from COVID-19 and by his own claim under quarantine from February 15th to 27th, what explains his presence in the last rites ceremony of a policeman that happened on February 18? Are the COVID-19 restrictions in Maharashtra only for the masses? The Ministers in Maharashtra can defy those restrictions and roam around freely as per their will and endanger others lives?
If Sharad Pawar and company want us to believe that Param Bir Singh is lying about the allegations he levelled against Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh, he and his ministers first need to iron out the discrepancies engendered by their conflicting remarks and answer the questions raised above.