Former Maha CM protected drug peddlers, says Nawab Malik; Fadnavis hits back

By, Mumbai
Nov 02, 2021 06:10 AM IST

Maharashtra minister Nawab Malik claimed Jaydeep Rana has good relations with Devendra Fadnavis. The former CM refuted the allegations saying he will expose Malik’s links with the underworld after Diwali

Attacking the Bharatiya Janata Party and former chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, Maharashtra minister and senior Nationalist Congress Party(NCP) leader Nawab Malik on Monday tweeted pictures of Fadnavis and his wife, Amruta, with Jaydeep Rana, arrested in a drug peddling case.The minister said that people like Rana received protection under the previous government. Fadnavis, however, denied the allegations and said he will expose minister’s links with the Underworld after Diwali.

A file photo of former Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis. (HT/File photo)
A file photo of former Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis. (HT/File photo)

In a series of tweets, Malik hit out at the former chief minister and the BJP. “Let’s have a discussion of links between BJP and drug peddler,” Malik said in a tweet with a photograph of Amruta Fadnavis and Rana. In another tweet, he posted a picture of Fadnavis with Rana.

Rana was arrested in a drug peddling case in June this year and is currently lodged in a jail.

“Jaydeep Rana is linked with Devendra ji. When Fadnavis was CM, his wife Amruta released the album in February 2018... It was directed by Sachin Gupta, creative head was Manish Khanka and finance head was Jaydeep Rana. Claims that anyone can take a picture when you are in public life will not work in this case. There is also another picture where both can be seen together during Ganesh Chaturthi, I don’t know who visited who’s residence then,” said Malik, later, at a press conference.

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“The matter is also not limited to this but is also related to a major drug business and Fadnavis’s role in the matter needs to be probed… We are not questioning pictures but funding of the album. We demand an investigation either through judicial commission or CBI,” Malik said.

Hitting out at Malik, Fadnavis said that Rana has nothing to do with him and his wife and that he will expose Malik’s links with the underworld after Diwali. “Malik has levelled baseless allegations against me and my wife. The accused arrested a few days ago was engaged by River March for their social drive. We were just helping them in a social cause. The accused took pictures with me as well, but Malik is intentionally targeting my wife. It shows their culture,” Fadnavis told reporters.

Responding to Malik’s allegations over Rana funding the album, Amruta Fadnavis said, “River March approached me for this project (Mumbai River anthem) for the rejuvenation of four Mumbai rivers which were reduced to nullahs. It was because of our efforts that the BMC took some steps for the rejuvenation... Instead of appreciating good work, we are being targeted,” she said.

Devendra Fadnavis said that he will produce proof of Malik’s alleged underworld links before the media and NCP chief Sharad Pawar. “Those who have relations with the Underworld should not speak about me. I will present evidence of Nawab Malik’s relations with the Underworld. I am waiting for Diwali to pass,” the former chief minister said.

Soon after Fadnavis’ allegations, Malik in a tweet in Hindi said, “We are ready”.

“Malik is trying to pressurise the NCB by levelling allegations so that the charge sheet against his son-in-law is weakened. The NCB will not buckle under any pressure. The law will take its own course,” Fadnavis added.

Malik’s son-in-law Sameer Khan was arrested by the NCB earlier this year in a drugs case and was later granted bail by a court.

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