A day after furore over controversial ex-minister Nawab Malik joining the treasury benches rocked the opening session of the winter session of the state legislature, leader of the opposition Ambadas Danve kicked up a fresh row over Rajya Sabha member and senior NCP leader Praful Patel's proximity to the Mahayuti alliance ruling the state. The opposition attack was in response to deputy chief minister Devendra Fadnavis' letter to his collegaue and deputy CM Ajit Pawar, objecting to Malik joining the alliance.
In a letter today to Fadnavis, Danve pointed out that Praful Patel has also been accused of having links with Iqbal Mirchi, a close aide of Dawood Ibrahim, and asked if the same treatment would be extended to Patel. Referring to Fadnavis' "letter bomb" where he insisted that Malik should not be allowed to join the ruling alliance because of seriousness of the charges against him, Danve asked Fadnavis what his position on Patel was. Patel, like Malik, is also accused of purchasing tainted property from gangsters in Mumbai.
'Patel has relations with Dawood'
NCP MLA Nawab Malik, having spent over 18 months in prison, sneaked into the house on Thursday and joined the treasury benches raising the heckles of the oppostion. Danve had asked how could a person accused of "treason" and "terrorist links" be allowed in the ruling combine.
Danve in his letter to Fadnavis said his objection to Malik joining the treasury benches were appreciable and showed how strongly Fadnnavis felt about "morality and nationalism.” He further referred to Patel's recent meeting with Union home minister Amit Shah, photographs of which have appeared in newspapers. Danve pointed out that, "Patel has relations with Dawood and his henchmen and because of Patel's financial dealings with Dawood's aides, ED has confiscated Patel's property on Worli Seaface in Mumbai”. The implication was that if Malik is shunned, by the same yardstick, Patel should be given the same treatment.