Nawab Malik's arrest "politically motivated": Sharad Pawartext_fields
Pune: Maharashtra minister Nawab Malik was arrested was "politically motivated", and efforts are underway to connect him to fugitive Underworld don Dawood Ibrahim since the minister is a Muslim, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar said on Saturday. He said that Malik and his family members are under deliberate harassment but they will fight back, PTI reported.
Pawar dismissed the Opposition's demand for Malik's resignation. He said that Congress leader Narayan Rane had not resigned after his arrest, but Malik was demanded to. Different yardsticks were being applied for Rane and Malik, he said and added that Prime Minister Narendra Modi would arrive in Pune the next day, and he might explain more on that.
Malik was arrested on February 23 by Enforcement Directorate in a money laundering case linked to Dawood Ibrahim. Congress's Rane was arrested for his statement last August that Rane would have slapped state Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray for forgetting the year India got independent.
Regarding the phone tapping of select politicians in Maharashtra, Pawar said that it happened when BJP's Devendra Fadnavis government was in power in the state. Officials merely followed orders, but they are facing the consequences now, he said.
Regarding the state governor not approving the names of 12 MLCs for sent to him by the Maharashtra cabinet- to the Legislative Council- for more than a year, Pawar said that the state had great governors like PC Alexander, but he did not wish to talk about what governor BS Koshyari is doing. He implied that the governor is influenced by the Union government. The governor has decided not to maintain the prestige of the constitutional post he is holding, Pawar said.