Nawab Malik being connected to Dawood because he is Muslim: Sharad Pawar
Malik was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate on February 23 in a money-laundering probe linked to the activities of Dawood and his aides
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.