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Fadnavis writes to Ajit Pawar, says can't take Nawab Malik in 'Mahayuti' after his presence in Assembly

Maharashtra Assembly witnessed uproar from the MVA after Nawab Malik, who spent 18 months in jail in connection with an alleged money laundry case, occupied the last row in the Treasury Benches.

Arushi Jaiswal Edited By: Arushi Jaiswal @JaiswalArushi Nagpur Published on: December 07, 2023 19:44 IST
Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and
Image Source : FILE PHOTO Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Ajit Pawar

Nagpur: After being cornered by the opposition over the presence of Nawab Malik on treasury benches during the winter session of the Maharashtra assembly in Nagpur on Thursday, Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis wrote a letter to Ajit Pawar stating that the former minister can't be part of the  'Mahayuti' (the alliance of the BJP, Eknath Shinde Shiv Sena faction and Ajit Pawar's NCP faction).

In a letter to Pawar, Fadnavis said that there is no personal enmity with NCP leader Nawab Malik, but considering the serious allegations against him, it would not be appropriate to include him in the alliance. He emphasised that power comes and goes, but the country is paramount.

Here's what Fadnavis told Pawar

"Today, former minister and Member of the Legislative Assembly Nawab Malik participated in the proceedings of the Assembly; it is his right. I want to make it clear from the beginning that we harbour no resentment or animosity towards him. However, considering the serious allegations levelled against him, it is our opinion that it would not be appropriate to include Nawab Malik in the alliance," the BJP leader said.

"Power comes and goes. But the country is more important than power. He is currently out on bail only on medical grounds. The allegations against him have not been proven yet, so you can welcome him. However, due to the nature of the allegations, it would not be appropriate to include him in the Mahayuti (alliance). This is my clear stance. We accept that it is your right to choose which person to take to the party. However, all allied parties should consider the potential hindrance to the alliance due to the involvement of an individual with such accusations. But all the partner parties should think about ensuring that no one's personality creates any hindrance in the alliance," he added.

"We cannot agree with the views of the then Chief Minister and the Maha Vikas Aghadi government, which kept him as a minister even when he was arrested on charges of having links with traitors. I hope you will note our sentiments," Fadnavis told Pawar.

Nawab Malik was seen sitting on treasury benches

Today, Nawab Malik was present at the assembly and was seen sitting with NCP (Ajit faction) MLAs in the House. The Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Council, Ambadas Danve, strongly criticized the government regarding the Nawab Malik issue.

Malik was seen sitting in the back row on the treasury benches in the Assembly, indicating that he had lent his support to Ajit Pawar.

Nawab Malik joins Ajit Pawar-led NCP

Nawab Malik on Thursday joined the  Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) faction led by Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, in Nagpur.  Notably, Malik was jailed for 18 months in an alleged money-laundering case. Malik was in jail from February 2022  to August 2023 and is currently out on medical bail.

Earlier, Ajit Pawar informed the media that he had called Malik and said, "You are most welcome in Nagpur." He added that Malik is a senior leader capable of making his own decisions on such matters.

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