The BJP, which adopted the moral high ground on the Nawab Malik issue on Thursday, found itself at the receiving end on Friday inside the state legislature, which is in session in Nagpur, and also outside the House.
Deputy chief minister Devendra Fadnavis had written a strongly-worded letter to deputy CM Ajit Pawar on Thursday objecting to the latter's decision to admit controversial former minister Nawab Malik in the NCP (Ajit Pawar). Mr Fadnavis had explained that Malik was arrested for alleged links to associates of Dawood Ibrahim and in view of that he was against making him a part of the Maha Yuti.
Patel's alleged links with Iqbal Mirchi
Congress spokesperson Sachin Sawant asked if Mr Fadnavis was okay with former Union minister Praful Patel being in the NCP (Ajit Pawar) despite the latter's links to a property deal with Iqbal Mirchi, drug lord and a close associate of Dawood Ibrahim. It may be recalled that the Enforcement Directorate, which is probing the case of Iqbal Mirchi and his family, had attached several units on the 12th, 13th and 14th floor of Ceejay House, Shiv Sagar Estate, Worli, owned by Praful Patel and his family members.
Danve writes letter to Fadnavis
Sawant said if Fadnavis was opposed to Malik then he should take objection to the presence of Praful Patel also in the Maha Yuti. He said Fadnavis was not actuated by considerations of probity in public life. Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Ambadas Danve wrote a letter to Fadnavis asking him to provide a list of people who had links with the underworld. Sushma Andhare, spokesperson of the Shiv Sena (UBT), too slammed Fadnavis for alleged double standards. She said several persons accused of grave offences were admitted to the BJP's fold. She wondered why Fadnavis was not objecting to their presence. She said Fadnavis was raising non-issues with a view to divert attention from the grim crisis in the farm sector of Maharashtra.
Danve had on Thursday asked how Malik, whom the BJP had earlier accused of “terror links” was allowed to sit in the treasury benches. Quickly stung by Danve's criticism, Fadnavis immediately wrote a letter to Ajit Pawar expressing his displeasure over Malik's presence in the NCP (Ajit Pawar). Danve pointed out that Praful Patel had recently met both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union home minister Amit Shah.