Mumbai: Hitting back, the Bharatiya Janata Party on Wednesday denied the allegations made by Nationalist Congress Party Minister Nawab Malik that Leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis had mafia links.
Fadnavis tellingly hit out a tweet, quoting George Bernard Shaw: “I learned long ago, never to wrestle with a pig. You get dirty, and besides the pig likes it!”
Talking to media persons, BJP leader and former minister Ashish Shelar countered by displaying photos of the absconder goon Riyaz Bhatti with Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, NCP President Sharad Pawar, Malik, Prithviraj Chavan, Aslam Shaikh and other top MVA leaders with a warning: “You show one, we will show you four pictures”.
“Malik had promised a ‘hydrogen bomb’, but he failed… He’s clearly frustrated and needs ‘oxygen’ now… Despite all his efforts, he could not defame or malign Fadnavis,” claimed Shelar.
He demanded to know why the Maha Vikas Aghadi government has not taken any action on all the names Malik has revealed, and said all the allegations are false.
Earlier on Wednesday, Malik said that the Prime Minister’s security may have been compromised after Bhatti managed to enter a VVIP event and even clicked photos with the PM, courtesy Fadnavis.
“There’s no link between Fadnavis and Riyaz Batti… He went absconding under the MVA rule… Is the NCP giving him protection? Is Bhatti part of the Sachin Vaze extortion gang,” Shelar asked.
He accused Malik of shielding criminals, trying to deflect the attention of the minorities by dragging in Muslim names and defaming them, including Congress Minister Aslam Shaikh.
Malik had also charged Fadnavis with rewarding persons with shady credentials or involvement in questionable activities with plum government panel postings.
Shelar said that these persons accused by Malik, like Munna Yadav, have only political cases, while others like Hyder Azam and Haji Arafat Shaikh would reply to the NCP leader’s charges independently.
Endorsing Fadnavis’ allegations of Tuesday, he questioned Malik’s Kurla land deal with persons close to the mafia and demanded that Thackeray should lodge an FIR against the NCP minister for his business deals with such elements.