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Nawab Malik takes treasury bench seat, Fadnavis objects | Nagpur News


A day after NCP MLA and former minister Nawab Malik stoked speculation that he had aligned with the Ajit Pawar faction and Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis subsequently wrote to Ajit Pawar that the BJP cannot welcome him in the ruling alliance in view of the pending case and charges against him, the Opposition Shiv Sena (UBT) and Congress on Friday questioned the BJP over accepting senior NCP leader Praful Patel, whose property was also attached by the Enforcement Directorate (ED), in the ruling alliance. Patel’s property was attached by the ED in a case related to gangster Iqbal Mirchi, who was considered close to Dawood Ibrahim.

Cornering the BJP over allowing Patel to be in the ruling alliance but opposing Malik, Sena (UBT) leader and Leader of Opposition in the Legislative Council Ambadas Danve shot a letter to Fadnavis asking if he was going to take a similar stand in case of Patel too.

The former Union civil aviation minister’s name had cropped up in the ED probe into a money laundering case against Mirchi. In July last year, the ED had provisionally attached Patel’s properties located on 12th, 13th, 14th and 15th floors of Ceejay House building at Worli in central Mumbai as part of its probe into the money laundering case against Mirchi, who died in London in 2013.

“You opposed Malik seating on the treasury bench with Ajit Pawar group because Malik has connections with ‘anti-nationals’ (traitors). This shows how nationalist you are… but Patel has relations with Dawood and his henchmen and due to the financial dealings with Dawood’s henchman, the ED has attached his properties. The strong feelings which you have about Nawab Malik, do you feel the same about Praful Patel? This should also be disclosed by you. However, we hope that appropriate action will be taken in this regard,” Danve said in his letter to Fadnavis.

Sena (UBT) MP Sanjay Raut and Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee president Nana Patole also slammed the BJP over Patel, saying the allegations against Patel and Malik are similar in nature and questioned why there is different ‘justice’ for Patel and different ‘justice’ for Malik.

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“Dawood and Iqbal Mirchi both were involved in the 1993 bomb blasts. The allegations and action taken by the ED against both leaders are similar in nature. Patel’s property has also been attached by the ED. So why has the BJP taken different stands against Patel and Malik,” Patole asked.

“Like Nawab Malik, there are allegations against Praful Patel too. It was the BJP that had alleged that he (Patel) dealt with people related to Dawood…,” Raut said.

Responding to the Opposition’s attack, Patel, who met Fadnavis in the Vidhan Bhavan premises on Friday, said with the poll results of the four states, the Opposition and rival groups have been beaten and therefore they were dejected and raising non-issues. “They may be doing this to gain sympathy or to defame us. I don’t want to give answers to those who don’t know anything about me,” Patel said referring to Danve’s letter to Fadnavis.

“Whatever had to be said, Sharad Pawar has already said in the past. These people are dejected and they know what will happen in the elections in the country and the state. Under Modiji’s leadership, there will be an NDA government led by the BJP and even in Maharashtra, there will be a government led by Eknath Shinde, Devendra Fadnavis and Ajit Pawar,” he said.

Malik, out on bail in the alleged money laundering case, created a stir on Thursday morning in the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly when he sat on a treasury bench seat, leading to speculation that he had aligned with the Ajit Pawar faction, part of the ruling alliance.

Later in the day, Malik was also seen sitting in the Vidhan Bhavan office of the Ajit Pawar faction.

Taking exception to Malik’s presence in the House, Fadnavis wrote a letter to colleague and Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, stating it would be “inappropriate” to include Malik in the ruling alliance in view of the pending case and charges against him.

“Former Minister and Member of Legislative Assembly Nawab Malik came to the legislature (on Thursday) and participated in the proceedings. He has a right to do so being a member of the Legislative Assembly. I would like to clarify that we have absolutely no personal enmity or grudge against them. However, in view of the accusations that he is facing, we believe that it would be inappropriate to take him into our alliance,” Fadnavis said in his letter to Pawar, addressing him as NCP president.

Malik and Fadnavis share an uneasy relationship and, in the past, have hurled serious allegations against each other. Malik, arrested by the ED in March 2022, spent 18 months in jail before being granted bail on medical grounds by the Supreme Court in August this year.

 

 





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