In a very dramatic way, the Enforcement Directorate reached Nawab Malik’s house, they picked him up without any notice or warrant and took him to their office. They questioned Malik in connection with its money laundering case against underworld don Dawood Ibrahim and his aides. Malik’s name first cropped up in the intelligence inputs gathered by the agency in the hawala case. The 62-year-old NCP leader was patient and gave a statement to the media that he will not bow down but expose the opposition leaders.
Malik’s alleged links to some property deals are under the radar of the federal probe agency. On February 15, the ED had carried out raids at 10 locations including premises linked to Dawood Ibrahim’s late sister Haseena Parkar, brother Iqbal Kaskar and Salim Qureshi alias Salim Fruit, brother-in-law of gangster Chhota Shakeel. The agency also took custody of Dawood Ibrahim’s brother.
Salim Qureshi also known as Salim Fruit, was in the past booked under the stringent MCOCA (Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act) for extortion cases. He was supposed to contest from Mankhurd Shivaji Nagar Vidhan Sabha constituency in the eastern suburbs of Mumbai. The seat is presently held by Samajwadi Party’s Abu Asim Azmi for the last two terms. He sought a ticket from Asaduddin Owaisi’s party AIMIM but somehow, he could not manage. Posters of Qureshi appeared in areas of Shivaji Nagar, Govandi, Mankhurd during Eid-Al-Adha and local residents alleged that Qureshi was planning to contest from the assembly seat.
In 2005 Malik resigned as a Minister after the Justice P B Sawant Commission probing corruption charges against Ministers passed strictures against him. Malik in his defence had claimed that the decision to favour the builder in the project was taken by the previous BJP-Shiv Sena government and not him. After joining the NCP, Malik subsequently went on to serve as a minister handling important portfolios including Higher and Technical Education and Labour in the Congress-NCP government.
Social activist Anna Hazare had then accused him and three other ministers in the Congress-NCP government of corruption. Hazare had alleged that Malik stayed the reconstruction of a chawl in Mumbai by Maharashtra Housing Area Development Authority so that a private builder would benefit.
After a three-year pause, he was inducted into the Ashok Chavan-led cabinet that was sworn in in 2008 and made the labour minister. In 2009 when the Congress-NCP returned to power, Malik did not find a place in the Cabinet and was subsequently made a spokesperson of the party. Malik lost the 2014 elections by a margin of 1,007 votes and was confined to play an organisational role in the NCP as a spokesperson.
Malik is one of the few Muslim faces in the NCP. In the 2019 Assembly elections, Malik had played an important role as a spokesperson in taking on the BJP’s social media machinery. He made a re-entry into the state cabinet after a decade with the formation of the Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi government. While many thought Malik would be rewarded with an important ministry, he had to be satisfied with Minority Affairs and Skill Development. He is deemed to be close to NCP chief Sharad Pawar.
In January 2021, Malik’s son-in-law businessman Sameer Shabbir Khan was arrested by the Sameer Wankhede-led Narcotics Control Bureau. In January, the NCB had arrested a British national, Karan Sajnani and allegedly recovered 75 kg of marijuana, 125 kg of marijuana-related material and many cannabis buds imported from the US from him. The NCB claimed that based on his interrogation, they found money exchanged between him and Khan. Following this, Khan was summoned and then arrested on January 9. Khan was granted bail in September. Malik had claimed that his son-in-law was framed.
Soon after the arrest of actor Shah Rukh Khan’s son Aryan Khan in a drug case, Malik had stirred a national audience by singlehandedly unearthing information that has raised serious questions about due process in the NCB’s Cordelia cruise ship raid in which Aryan Khan was among several arrested. He had also accused Wankhede for foisting false drug cases and acting as a BJP pawn to harass political opponents. Malik made headlines for attacking the NCB Zonal Director Sameer Wankhede accusing him of several service-related wrongdoings.
He exposed some of the BJP leaders and their family members having relations with drug peddlers. Nawab Malik, a five-time MLA from Mumbai’s Anushakti Nagar. Impressed by Sanjay Gandhi, Malik joined the Youth Congress. After Gandhi’s death, he decided to join the Sanjay Vichar Manch, floated by Maneka Gandhi as an opposition movement against the then prime minister Indira Gandhi. With the Manch deciding to put up candidates across the country against the Congress, Malik, then 26, was asked to contest the 1984 Lok Sabha elections. Fielded against two political stars Gurudas Kamat and Pramod Mahajan from Bombay North East, Malik got only 2,950 votes. Post the 1992-93 riots, Malik joined the Samajwadi Party and Malik won by 7,000 votes. When Congress and NCP decided to strike an alliance, the Samajwadi Party too extended its support for which it was promised a ministerial berth. Malik was made the Minister of state for housing and months after entering the Cabinet gradually started distancing himself from the Samajwadi Party. On October 13, 2001, he was expelled from the party. Four days later, Malik, who had since cosied up with Sharad Pawar, joined the NCP.