Amid allegations being levelled by Maharashtra Cabinet Minister and NCP leader Nawab Malik and leader of opposition Devendra Fadnavis on each other, on Wednesday state Congress chief Nana Patole demanded CM Uddhav Thackeray to probe allegations made by both the political leaders.
The high-profile drug bust case in which Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan's son Aryan Khan was arrested has now turned into a war of words between Nawab Malik and former Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis making allegations and counter-allegations against each other. And so Nana Patole has demanded a probe in the matter.
In a fresh twist to the political slugfest, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Malik alleged that former Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has been shielding NCB zonal director Sameer Wankhede and accused Fadnavis of "criminalisation of politics".
Addressing a press conference, Malik said, "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 alleged that Fadnavis shielded a number of goons and criminals like Riyaz Bhati and Munna Yadav during his tenure.
He also said that after demonetisation the game of counterfeit notes was going on in the state under the Devendra Fadnavis government.
"Demonetisation was done in 2016. Counterfeit notes were being caught across the country but till 8 Oct'17 not a single case of counterfeit note was reported in Maharashtra as the game of counterfeit notes was going on in Maharashtra under Devendra Fadnavis," said Nawab Malik He further claimed that on October 8, 2017, the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) conducted raids at Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC) in which counterfeit notes with a face value of 14.56 crores were seized but Devendra Fadnavis had helped suppress this matter.
The NCP leader also claimed that Devendra Fadnavis protected fake currency rackets in the state following demonetisation with help from NCB Zonal Director Sameer Wankhede, who was then with DRI.
Malik also alleged that Fadnavis had connections with the underworld.
Hitting back, the Bharatiya Janata Party denied the allegations made by 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".
(With agency inputs)