Maharashtra minister Nawab Malik told NDTV on Monday that the anti-drugs agency Narcotics Control Bureau is "hiding" behind the case of his son-in-law who was arrested in a drugs case, portraying his criticism of the agency as a case of "personal vendetta".
"This allegation is baseless. They were shielding behind the case of my son-in-law. Nine months ago, he was arrested by Wankhede (NCB Zonal Director Sameer Wankhede). I said I have full trust in the Indian judiciary. Nobody is above the law. On 27th of the last month, he was granted bail," Mr Malik told NDTV in an exclusive interview.
Calling it a "fight against a wrongdoing", Mr Malik said Wankhede has "taken charge of the NCB to extort money".
"More than thousands of crores have been extorted from the Mumbai city. Definitely wrongdoings are happening," added the senior leader of Sharad Pawar's Nationalist Congress Party, who along with Shiv Sena's Sanjay Raut, is leading the charge against the drugs control agency.
The leaders of Maharashtra's ruling collation have accused the agency of toeing the BJP line to malign the state government.
Earlier on Monday, Mr Malik, in a tweet had questioned the birth certificate of Mr Wankhede. Tweeting a copy of a birth certificate where the father's name read as Dawood K Wankhede, he captioned it "Forgery by Sameer Dawood Wankhede started from here".
Hours later, Mr Wankhede filed an affidavit in court, alleging that he has been the victim of a "personal vendetta" by a "known political figure, (since) one Sameer Khan, a relative of this honcho, was arrested in a drug case".
"The publishing of my personal documents is defamatory in nature and an unnecessary invasion of my family privacy. It is intended to malign me, my family, my father, and my late mother," Mr Wankhede said. He added that his father is a Hindu, his mother was a Muslim and he comes from a "composite multi-religious and secular family".
Mr Malik stood by his allegations, accusing the officer of using "tampered documents" and "false caste certificate with which he got IRS job".
"A person is using a forged document to get SC Certificate and getting benefits," Mr Malik said. "He took name of Dawood. Married a Muslim woman, had two children. We have the nikahnama. If he is a Hindu, why was a nikahnama made? Why did he do nikah in a mosque? Definitely they were Muslim. They tampered the document to get benefit in the name of SC because his father was a SC," he added.
Earlier in the day, Sameer Wankhede's wife Kranti Redkar Wankhede took on the allegations, tweeting their wedding photo.
"Me n my Husband Sameer r born Hindus.We hv never converted to any other religion.V respect all religions.Sameer's father too is hindu married to my Muslim Mom in law who is no more.Sameer's ex-marriage ws under special marriage act,divorced in 2016.Ours in hindu marriage act 2017," her post read.