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This article was first published 2 years ago  » News » 'When BJP is on back foot, it brings in Dawood'

'When BJP is on back foot, it brings in Dawood'

February 24, 2022 08:21 IST
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'Shouldn't our investigation agencies be fiercely independent and conduct fair investigations, show some spine and say no to such witch hunting?'
'That they will not be cowed down by what the Centre wants them to do.'

IMAGE: Maharashtra Minister Nawab Malik being taken for a medical test in Mumbai, February 23, 2022, after he was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate in connection with an alleged money laundering case involving the underworld. Photograph: Shashank Parade/PTI Photo.

Shiv Sena Rajya Sabha MP Priyanka Chaturvedi, in an interview with Prasanna D Zore/, hits out at the central Bharatiya Janata Party leadership for letting loose central investigation agencies upon Opposition leaders after Maharashtra Minority Affairs Minister and Nationalist Congress Party leader Nawab Malik was arrested in Mumbai on Wednesday.

Malik, was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate in an alleged money laundering case linked to purchase of land in 1998 with associates of fugitive gangster Dawood Ibrahim Kaskar. Malik had relentlessly taken on then Narcotics Control Bureau zonal director Sameer Wankhede late last year.

How difficult would it be for the Shiv Sena to defend Nawab Malik's arrest now that the ED has charged him for alleged dealings with Dawood Ibrahim's associates?

Just because the ED brings in some Dawood link, some Pakistan link without a shred of evidence to back its charge, do you think we (the Shiv Sena) would be on the backfoot?

Haven't the facts spoken for themselves? The CBI was brought into the Sushant Singh Rajput (death by suicide) case and now where is the final investigation report?

Hiding behind the CBI investigation garb you (the BJP) maligned the entire Mumbai police, Maharashtra police and people of Maharashtra and state government. You (the central BJP leadership) are exposed because you have still not filed the final report.

Then you used the NCB and Sameer Wankhede to again tarnish the image of Maharashtra and its government. What happened? He was exposed (after Wankhede's term at the NCB ended, he was moved to the Central Board of Indirect Taxes) by Nawab Malik himself. Now, ED wants to link Nawab Malik with Dawood Ibrahim without any shred of evidence.

Since many years they (former Maharashtra chief minister and leader of the Opposition in the state assembly Devendra Fadnavis) have been saying this and now they are trying to link it to some (Pakistani) agency makes it all very ludicrous.

They (the ED) don't have any case (against Nawab Malik); they (the ED and other central investigation agencies) have been trying to please their bosses at the Centre.

Even Sanjay Rautji (Shiv Sena leader and Rajya Sabha MP) has been on record that he has written a letter to the chairman of the Rajya Sabha categorically stating how he was pushed by some people to destabilise the Maharashtra government.

He refused to be cowed down and so he was threatened that central investigation agencies will be let loose against him (Raut's associates were raided by the ED recently).

The facts are so evident that everybody now knows how the central agencies are being used by this government to target Opposition leaders.

Maligning Maharashtra has been on the top of their (the central BJP leadership) list ever since we formed the Maha Vikas Aghadi government in the state.

Is the ED trying to please its political bosses at the Centre or is the Centre trying to push the central agencies to act against Opposition leaders from various states?

Shouldn't our investigation agencies, our Constitutional institutions, be fiercely independent and conduct fair investigations, show some spine and say no to such witch hunting? That they will not be cowed down by what the Centre wants them to do.

Unfortunately, some officials are found to be wanting; unfortunately, if you also remember it has now become a trend, that they start some investigation and after retirement enjoy sinecures at government bodies or join the BJP and contest parliamentary or assembly elections. Isn't that a rotten fact we all are seeing today?

This is what the BJP has done with India's institutional framework. I think all the (investigation) agencies will have to relook at their own functioning first when they point fingers at how a government works.

Would you think it could be a BJP ploy to link Nawab Malik with Dawood Ibrahim and terrorism to put the MVA government, especially the Shiv Sena, on the back foot?

There is no back foot for the Shiv Sena. We always play on the front foot.

We are saying this with all the respect for all the agencies that unfortunately they are being misused.

Wasn't it the Bharatiya Janata Party, which before 2014 took pleasure in the fact that the CBI was called a 'caged parrot' (by the Supreme Court)?

Today, what have they made of the CBI? A comatose parrot! It's on its deathbed.

The Shiv Sena is not on back foot here. If there is a Dawood angle, bring Dawood to India. Arrest him.

What happened to the 56-inch seena (chest; a reference to Prime Minister Narendra Damodardas Modi, who during 2014 Lok Sabha elections said he had the courage to arrest Dawood Ibrahim, fix Pakistan, etc) saying that we will arrest Dawood (if the BJP comes to power at the Centre).

Why is it that Dawood and Pakistan make news only when some or the other state election is happening?

Whenever the BJP is on the back foot, and it knows that presently it is facing the collective anger of the nation, they try to divert attention by raising the ghost of Dawood, Pakistan, etc.

They --- the CBI, ED, NIA, NCB, Pakistan and Dawood -- have become the Bharatiya Janata Party's toolkit whenever they are on the back foot in politically crucial states. This clearly amplifies that it is a no show for the BJP in Uttar Pradesh.

While ED raids have been conducted against Shiv Sena leaders too in Maharashtra it is only NCP ministers like Anil Deshmukh and now Nawab Malik who are getting arrested.
Now, that Sanjay Raut has dared the BJP by writing a letter to the Rajya Sabha chairman and making it seem like the Shiv Sena will not cow down to pressures from the central BJP leadership to destabilise the MVA government, is the BJP using central investigation agencies to soften the NCP in Maharashtra so that it joins hands with the BJP in Maharashtra?

I do not know what their reason is (for arresting Deshmukh and Malik), but I don't see any pattern (of only NCP getting targetted). Many of our MPs and MLAs are getting raided too...

But no top minister from the Shiv Sena is getting arrested... it is only the NCP ministers who are getting arrested...

What this reflects is that the BJP thinks -- falsely -- that it is all powerful and in its arrogance continues to play the same card in various other states not governed by the BJP. But they can't shake the federal character of India.

Last week, the Telangana chief minister (K Chandrashekhar Rao) came to meet the Maharashtra chief minister (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray) with the same concern.

Look at how in non-BJP states like West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, etc, they (the BJP) try to push their way through (using central agencies).

Keeping all the arrests aside, it is a fact that the Bharatiya Janata Party is using all the central agencies to strengthen their position and that is as clear as daylight.

If at all, if at all, the ED produces some credible evidence of Nawab Malik's links with Dawood Ibrahim, then would that destabilise the MVA government in Maharashtra?

Now, what is the basis on which this arrest has been made?

A land was purchased (by Nawab Malik) and just by the virtue of some land being purchased by somebody from somebody, does a person become guilty of association?

This is the kind of ridiculous logic that they are applying to hit out at the Opposition. And this allegation (against Nawab Malik) has not come up only today; for the last four years they have been saying the same thing without any evidence to back that claim.

If your documents show of having bought a property and that is used as a ruse to prove a crime, then people will stop doing business in this country.

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