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Maharashtra: CM Uddhav hits out at BJP for seeking Malik's resignation

Malik, a senior NCP leader, was arrested earlier this month in a money laundering case over a land deal allegedly involving Ibrahim's aide

Uddhav Thackeray

File Photo: Uddhav Thackeray

Press Trust of India Mumbai
Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Friday lashed out at the BJP for seeking state minister Nawab Malik's resignation over alleged links with gangster Dawood Ibrahim, and reminded the saffron party that it once shared power with the PDP which had 'backed' terror convict Afzal Guru.
Speaking in the Assembly on the last day of Budget Session, Thackeray also said he was surprised that central probe agencies did not realise all these years that Dawood Ibrahim's agent Malik was roaming freely.
Malik, a senior NCP leader, was arrested earlier this month in a money laundering case over a land deal allegedly involving Ibrahim's aide. Thackeray also dared the BJP to storm into the fugitive gangster's home and kill him instead of levelling baseless allegations against leaders of the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) coalition of the Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress in the state. Hitting back, BJP leader and Leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis said it was unfortunate that Thackeray had to defend Malik who engaged in land deals with 1993 Mumbai blasts accused and aide of Dawood Ibrahim.
I sometimes feel surprised. Have the central probe agencies become so hollow that Malik, an 'agent' of Dawood Ibrahim, is roaming freely in Mumbai and in the entire country, gets elected four-five times, becomes minister and still the central agencies don't know about it?" chief minister Thackeray said on a sarcastic note. What are central agencies doing then? Clanking plates, lighting lamps? he asked. Central agencies were the "arrows" that the BJP was directing at its political opponents, he alleged. Thackeray also quipped that the Union government should recruit Fadnavis in the R&AW or CBI, as the BJP leader is said to have passed on information about Malik's alleged deals to the Enforcement Directorate (ED). so you will give information, you will level allegations, you will conduct probe and you will also award punishment. What will the courts do if you file such a strong case? We have faith in the judiciary. But if you are using agencies in this manner... is it 'ED', or is it 'ghar-gadi'

(domestic help/servant)? the chief minister said. The BJP once sought votes on the Ram temple issue, Thackeray said, adding if it will now seek votes using the Dawood Ibrahim issue. Where is Dawood? Does anyone know? Nobody knows. (Late BJP leader) Gopinath Munde had said he would drag Dawood back to Maharashtra. Now, we (the BJP) are getting dragged behind him (Dawood) and searching for his agents, Thackeray said sardonically. US security forces killed terrorist Osama bin Laden when Barack Obama was president, he said, praising Obama for showing manliness. Why don't you kill Dawood? Go storm into Dawood's home and kill him like Obama killed Osama. That's called courage. But instead of doing anything you are making allegations against us, Thackeray said. Further hitting out at the BJP for seeking Nawab Malik's resignation, Thackeray reminded the saffron party that it had formed government in Jammu and Kashmir in alliance with the Mehbooba Mufti-led PDP which had opposed the hanging of Afzal Guru, Parliament attack case. Wasn't Afzal Guru anti-national? he asked. Countering the chief minister in his speech later, Fadnavis said the Thackeray-led Shiv Sena was now sharing power with those who opposed the hanging of persons convicted in terror cases.
The BJP leader praised the Union government for ensuring peaceful elections in the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir at a time when the separatists and Pakistani intelligence agency ISI had threatened that they would not allow elections to be held. The separatists had then said they would not allow formation of government. Hence, it was the need of the country at that time, and therefore, we formed a government with Mehbooba Mufti, Fadnavis said. We showed the ISI that a government could be formed there. But we did not remain in the government (for long). The moment we showed it to the world that elections could be held there, we kicked that government the next moment, Fadnavis added.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Mar 25 2022 | 8:58 PM IST

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