Nawab Malik being connected to Dawood because he is Muslim: Sharad Pawar
PUNE Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar on Saturday accused the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of deliberately attempting to connect his party colleague and state cabinet minister Nawab Malik to fugitive underworld don Dawood Ibrahim because he is a Muslim. Malik was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate on February 23 in a money-laundering probe linked to the activities of Dawood and his aides.
Speaking to reporters at Warje on Sunday, Pawar said Malik’s arrest is politically motivated.
“Malik is being linked to Dawood Ibrahim because he is a Muslim. Malik and his family members are being deliberately harassed, but we will fight back. But I am not concerned about this as I also once faced these allegations having no substance,” said Pawar.
The NCP chief also dismissed the demands raised by the BJP seeking the resignation of Malik saying different yardsticks are being applied to Union minister Narayan Rane, who belongs to the BJP, and Malik.
“I don’t remember our (Congress’) former party colleague Narayan Rane had to resign after his arrest recently. Tomorrow, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is coming to Pune. He may explain more about it. Applying one yardstick for Malik and another for Rane shows that all this was politically motivated,” he claimed.
Rane was arrested last August by the police at Sangameshwar in the Ratnagiri district of Maharashtra for his statement that he would have slapped Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray for forgetting the year India got freedom during his Independence Day speech.
Pawar also took a swipe at the BJP and Maharashtra governor BS Koshyari who has not approved the names of 12 MLCs sent to him by the Maharashtra cabinet for more than a year ago for their nomination to the Legislative Council.
“Maharashtra has the legacy of governors like PC Alexander among others. I should not talk about what the present governor is doing. The central government is doing whatever it can do and Maharashtra is the latest example.
“Getting nominated to the Vidhan Parishad is one’s democratic right. But a year has passed and nothing is being done. If someone has decided not to maintain the prestige of the Constitutional post then what’s the need to comment,” Pawar said.
Phone tapping under BJP rule
NCP chief Sharad Pawar said the alleged tapping of phones of select politicians were conducted when the BJP was in power in Maharashtra. “I have seen the record of phone tapping of various leaders. It was done during the tenure of the Devendra Fadnavis government. Officials merely followed the orders and are now facing the consequences. I have never seen such a situation in the country before,” said Pawar.
An alert patrolman averted an accident by stopping a locomotive along the Mumbai-Pune rail route as it was approaching a fallen boulder on the track in the early hours of Friday. Rail services on the route that had to be temporarily halted but it was restored by 8:15am on Friday morning. Patrolman Motiram Lodhi who was on duty at that time, immediately stopped the approaching locomotive and informed his seniors about the incident.
A 23-year-old woman from Karnataka's Ballari named Vidyasri B has sent 900 rakhis to army personnel stationed at external borders on Raksha Bandhan, The Times of India reported. Vidya reportedly sent these rakhis through an army organisation in Bengaluru, Yodha Namana. Out of 900 rakhis, 300 were sent to soldiers at the Wagah border, 300 to soldiers at the Assam border and 300 to the Border Security Force personnel in Haryana, said the report.
The Shiv Sena on Friday slammed Maharashtra's Eknath Shinde-led government for exonerating Bharatiya Janata Party leader Kirit Somaiya in a case related to alleged misappropriation of funds raised to save decommissioned aircraft carrier INS Vikrant from getting scrapped. An editorial in Sena's mouthpiece Saamana said that after Shinde, who became the chief minister with BJP's help after rebelling against Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray, came to power all “scamsters are having a free run”.
In a tragic incident, at least five persons died while four others were hospitalised after consuming spurious liquor in Bihar's Saran district on Friday. Mohammad Alauddin Khan (resident of Audha village), Kameshwar Mahto alias Loha, Ramjeevan alias Rajendra Ram, Rohit Singh and Papu Singh (Bhuwalpur village) died after consuming the poisonous liquor. Four others namely—Ramnath Mahto, Lalbabu Shah, Shankar Rai and Hira Rai are undergoing treatment in the hospital.
Karnataka Police on Friday said that more than 25 people were taken into custody in Hulihyder village, in connection with a clash that broke out between two communities in the Koppal district on Muharram. Superintendent of Police, Arunagshu Giri, Koppal said, "We have deployed the police and have asked to impose Section 144 in the area for seven days."