Senior Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Nawab Malik has relations with the Underworld, former Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis alleged today. Responding to allegations that he appeared in a music video financed by a drug peddler who is currently in jail, Mr Fadnavis called the claims "laughable" and hit out at the NCP leader saying he is waiting for Diwali to be over to present evidence of the minister's relations with the criminal underworld. The music video in question had the former Chief Minister's wife Amruta Fadnavis as the singer.
"Those who have relations with the Underworld should not speak about me. I will present evidence of Nawab Malik's relations with the Underworld. I am just waiting for Diwali to pass," Mr Fadnavis said in a press conference today. He added that he would send the evidence to NCP chief Sharad Pawar as well.
Alleging that Mr Malik was just trying to put pressure on the NCB to get the anti-drugs agency to weaken the charge sheet against his son-in-law, the former Chief Minister said, "He has lit a tiny firecracker before Diwali but I will light a big one after the festival."
The Maharashtra cabinet minister's son-in-law Sameer Khan was arrested by the NCB earlier this year in a drugs case and was later granted bail by a court.
Later, talking to reporters, Mr Fadnavis said the creative team of River March, an organisation working for the conservation of rivers in Mumbai, had hired this person four years ago. Mr Fadnavis was then the Chief Minister of the state.
He claimed that he and his wife were associated with the cause of river rejuvenation.
"The pictures were clicked during the shooting of a theme song. There are photos along with the team, not only with my wife but also with me. But, Nawab Malik consciously shared the photograph of my wife. This reflects his mentality," the leader of opposition in the state assembly said.
Mr Fadnavis pointed out that the team which produced the video had already clarified yesterday that Jaydeep Rana, the person listed as the "Finance Head" of the video in question, was hired by its creative team.
"Neither my wife nor I have any relations with that person. He is making allegations against the BJP based on just one picture. His son-in-law was caught with drugs, does that make NCP a party of drug suppliers?" he said.
Mr Malik had earlier tweeted a picture of Jaydeep Ranade with Ms Fadnavis.
Just after the former Chief Minister's press conference, Mr Malik tweeted, "We are ready."
है तैयार हम @Dev_Fadnavis— Nawab Malik نواب ملک नवाब मलिक (@nawabmalikncp) November 1, 2021
The minister has recently made several sensational claims against the BJP, alleging it colluded to expand the drugs business in the state. He has also raised questions on the religion of Sameer Wankhede, the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) office investigating drug charges against superstar Shah Rukh Khan's son Aryan Khan and others, and alleged that he was born a Muslim but forged documents, including a caste certificate, to pass off as a Scheduled Caste (SC) person to get recruitment under quota after clearing the UPSC exams.