Ajit Pawar/ File Photo
Ajit Pawar, the deputy chief minister of Maharashtra, stated on Friday that he will speak with Nawab Malik to understand the latter's political affiliation before outlining his NCP faction's stance on the issue, stated a report in PTI.
In response to questions about Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis's letter, which voiced opposition to Malik holding a treasury bench seat on the first day of the state legislature's winter session, Pawar was quoted as explaining. "I have perused the missive. Yesterday was Nawab Malik's first assembly attendance. The media made his seating arrangements, motivations, and companions known," Pawar told PTI.
On July 2, Ajit Pawar's NCP faction joined the ruling 'Maha Yuti' alliance; Malik's assembly presence came next.
Maharashtra govt appoints three information commissioners
RPF recruitment message completely false and fake: Central Railway
IAS officer Chockalingam is new chief electoral officer of Maharashtra
Maharashtra: In Yavatmal, Modi slams Congress, attacks Sharad Pawar
Maharashtra: Lightning strikes kill two killed in Jalna district
"Once I understand his (Malik's) stance, I will articulate my party's stance," he stated.
In a letter to Ajit Pawar dated Thursday, Fadnavis raised concerns about Malik's membership in the ruling 'Maha Yuti' alliance. Malik is an accused in an ED case.
Malik made his first appearance at the state legislature's winter session on Thursday. Malik was arrested by the ED in February 2022 and is currently free on medical bail in connection with a money laundering investigation. He was seen sitting in the last row, next to an MLA from the Ajit Pawar faction, in the office of the Ajit Pawar-led NCP faction inside the legislature complex.
The opposition brought up the BJP's previous designation of Malik as a "traitor" in response to claims about a land deal in Mumbai involving gangster Dawood Ibrahim's associates who are on the run. Malik has not yet acknowledged that he is a member of the NCP led by Sharad Pawar or the Ajit Pawar faction.
In a letter to Ajit Pawar, Fadnavis recognised Malik's right to participate in the assembly as a member of the Legislative Assembly, but he voiced doubts about officially welcoming him into "Maha Yuti" in light of the accusations.
Fadnavis, in his letter, wrote, "We (the BJP) do not harbour any personal animosity or grudge" against him. However, considering the kind of allegations he is facing, we are of the opinion that it would not be appropriate to induct him into the Maha Yuti. We agree that it is your prerogative (to decide) who should be inducted into your party. But every constituent party (of the Maha Yuti) has to think as to whether it would harm the alliance. Hence, we are opposed to this."
With PTI inputs