Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader and Maharashtra Minister Nawab Malik, on Wednesday, questioned if one Riyaz Bhati, ‘a close aide of Dawood Ibrahim’, was ‘in close contact with Devendra Fadnavis’.
Addressing a press conference over what he had referred to as ‘hydrogen bomb’, Malik said – “Riyaz Bhati was arrested at Mumbai airport with a fake passport. He was allowed bail in two days only. Why was Riyaz Bhati in close contact with you (Devendra Fadnavis)?. Bhati has been seen with many big leaders in pictures.”
“I am fighting against a man who is framing innocent people in fake cases. Devendra Fadnavis is not only diverting my issue but also trying to defend one officer (Sameer Wankhede),” Malik claimed.
He further alleged that ‘Nagpur’s notorious criminal Munna Yadav was appointed chairman of Construction Workers’ Board by Devendra Fadnavis during his government’.
“One Haidar Azam, involved in illegal immigration of Bangladeshis, was appointed chairman of Maulana Azad Finance Corporation by Fadnavis,” he said. In a series of allegations against the former Maharashtra CM, Malik said that Fadnavis had helped ‘suppress the seizure of counterfeit notes with a face value of 14.56 crores’ in 2017.
NCB officer Wankhede was quick to counter Malik’s allegations. “The face value of counterfeit notes seized in 2017 was around 10 lakh not around 14 cr. Three persons were arrested in the matter. At that time DRI had approached NIA to probe the matter, but NIA didn’t take over the case,” he said.
Amid an ongoing war of words with Fadnavis, Malik had claimed that he would ‘drop a hydrogen bomb’ on Wednesday morning. Last week, Fadnavis had claimed that he will drop a ‘bomb’ by exposing Malik’s alleged links with the underworld.
In response, Nawab Malik had said – Fadnavis’ bomb turned out to be a ‘dud cracker’ but he will drop a ‘hydrogen bomb’ on Wednesday morning, exposing how the BJP leader held the city hostage when he was chief minister.
On Tuesday, while addressing a press conference, Devendra Fadnavis, the Leader of Opposition in the Maharashtra Assembly had alleged that Malik had entered into fictitious land deals via frontmen linked to underworld don Dawood Ibrahim and his sister Haseena Parker. He claimed that Malik and his family members purchased land linked to convicts of 1993 Mumbai blasts via a company. “Why did you do business with the killers of Mumbaikars?” Fadnavis questioned.
Malik had refuted the claims and said that the land deals were clean. 62-year-old Nawab Malik claimed that he has been in public life for 26 years and no one has ever levelled allegations against him connecting his family with the underworld.