Maharashtra minister and NCP leader Nawab Malik on Monday sought to link the BJP with an alleged narcotics dealer by tweeting the latter’s photograph with former chief minister Devendra Fadnavis’ wife Amruta Fadnavis. Devendra Fadnavis, however, said Malik’s tweet reflected his mentality and claimed that he will burst a bomb after Diwali by making revelations about the minister’s underworld links, which he will also share with NCP president Sharad Pawar.
In a series of tweets, Malik, who has been targeting the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) after it raided a cruise ship last month and claimed to have seized drugs onboard, posted a photograph of Amruta Fadnavis with an alleged drug peddler. He also posted a similar photograph of Devendra Fadnavis with alleged the drug dealer.
Let’s have a discussion of links between BJP and drug peddler, Malik tweeted, referring to the photograph of Amruta Fadnavis with the person. In another tweet, the minister said the person was Jaideep Rana.
Later, talking to reporters, Devendra Fadnavis said the creative team of River March, an organisation working for the conservation of rivers in Mumbai, had hired this person four years ago. Fadnavis was then the chief minister of the state.
The former CM said he and his wife were associated with the cause of river rejuvenation. The pictures were clicked during the shooting of a theme song. “There are photos along with the team, not only with my wife, but also with me. But, Nawab Malik consciously shared the photograph of my wife. This reflects his mentality,” the leader of opposition in the state assembly said. “Those people who have been photographed were brought by the ‘River March’ (organisation). There are no links of these people with me or my wife,” he said.
Amruta Fadnavis, a banker by profession who also released her singing album in the past, has been a vocal critic of the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi in the state (comprising the Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress), and has often taken to Twitter to launch attacks on the state government. “The cracker just before the Diwali was a damp squib and it gives an impression that Malik has made some big revelation,” Devendra Fadnavis said, referring to the photograph of his wife with the alleged drug peddler. “I don’t stay in a house of glass, and those having links with the underworld and drugs should not talk to me. I will furnish all the proof after Diwali. Law will take its own course,” the senior BJP leader said.
Devendra Fadnavis also said Malik’s attack on the NCB is an attempt to put pressure on officials of the anti-drugs agency so that the case against the NCP leader’s son-in-law is weakened. 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.
Devendra Fadnavis said Malik referred to the BJP’s drug connection. He said if one goes by that logic, then the entire NCP can be termed as a drug mafia, as Malik’s son-in-law was arrested by the NCB in an alleged drugs case, but he would not label the Sharad Pawar-led party with such terms. “If a photo of an unrelated man (alleged drug peddler) surfaces and makes one a drug mafia, then then what should one call a party when drug is seized,” the BJP leader said, referring to the arrest of Sameer Khan by the NCB.