It appears the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) has taken the news about 26/11 LeT handler Abu Jundal’s alleged links to Minister of State Fauzia Khan seriously. Addressing his party ministers at a meeting on Friday, NCP Chief Sharad Pawar asked several questions on the allegations that Jundal spent a day in her MLA hostel room in 2009.
During a brief discussion on the matter, Pawar asked whether there was any truth in the claims that Jundal aka Sayed Zabiuddin Ansari had stayed in Khan’s room. Khan immediately denied her involvement, saying that the reports were untrue. Home Minister R R Patil is also said to have intervened, supporting Khan’s claims of innocence.
Pawar reportedly responded by saying that in the event that the allegations were baseless, a defamation case should have been filed against those who were spreading the erroneous information. Khan and Patil are believed to have nodded in agreement.
According to sources, PWD Minister Chhagan Bhujbal uttered a word of caution, saying that it was too early to file such a case, as Jundal is still in the custody of Delhi Police. ‘Instead, we should wait and watch what he says to the police’, Bhujbal is said to have suggested.
Bhujbal’s contention was unanimously agreed upon by all present at the meeting, held at Deputy CM Ajit Pawar’s official residence. Also on the agenda was the performance of party ministers, and infighting among them.
This was in relation to the Water Resources Minister Laxman Dhoble’s recent digs at the Tribal Development department headed by his party colleague Babanrao Pachpute.
Pawar even asked for Dhoble, who was missing from the meeting. He was told that the minister was in Pandharpur, on the occasion of Ashadhi Ekadashi. He then spoke against such petty squabbling.