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Dilip Walse Patil, Sharad Pawar Aide, To Be New Maharashtra Home Minister

Dilip Walse Patil won his first election as a Congress candidate from Ambegaon in 1990 (File)

New Delhi:

Veteran NCP leader Dilip Walse Patil is widely tipped to take over as Maharashtra’s new Home Minister after the resignation of Anil Deshmukh. Mr Patil, a seven-time MLA, began his political career as personal assistant to Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar.

The MLA from Ambegaon is currently the state Minister of Excise and Labour. His father Dattatray Walse Patil, a former Congress MLA, was also close to Sharad Pawar.

Mr Patil won his first election as a Congress candidate from Ambegaon in 1990. In 1999, he followed Mr Pawar out of the Congress party and joined the NCP.

Mr Patil, who has studied law, was Speaker at a crucial time in the Maharashtra assembly, at a time when the unlikely coalition of Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress was in the making.

Mr Deshmukh quit hours after the Bombay High Court ordered a preliminary CBI investigation into allegations of corruption against him by former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh.

The High Court also directed the CBI to register an FIR if any offence was found and said Mr Deshmukh is the Home Minister and an impartial probe should be carried out by the police.

Param Bir Singh had accused Mr Deshmukh of interfering in police investigations and severe “malpractices” including extortion.

In a letter to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, Mr Singh had alleged that Mr Deshmukh had asked suspended Assistant Police Inspector Sachin Waze – arrested in the Mukesh Ambani bomb scare case — to collect Rs 100 crore every month.

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