There is no ethics in politics. The BJP already lost its moral ground by aligning with Ajit Pawar. Just before the State Assembly polls, the BJP was eager to see Ajit Pawar in jail in connection with the alleged Rs 70,000 crore irrigation scam. And the next day, Sharad Pawar’s nephew took oath as deputy to CM Devendra Fadnavis, claiming the support of all NCP MLAs. He was once the main target of the BJP. In fact, before coming to power in 2014, Devendra Fadnavis gained popularity across the state by launching a scathing attack on Ajit Pawar, whose political life has been mired in corruption allegations since 2009. To tame Pawars, the so-called social activist Anjali Damania was made to quit the Aam Aadmi Party and chase the irrigation scam of Ajit; she was muted as soon as the BJP came to power in 2014. Now Damania has no problem with Ajit Pawar and all the other corrupt leaders in the state. Similarly, the BJP’s veteran leader, Kirit Somaiya, was very vocal about corrupt politicians until they joined hands with the BJP.
During the Maha Vikas Aghadi rule, Malik was on the front foot by trolling the BJP on various occasions, especially on the issue of Sushant Singh Rajput’s suicide and fake narcotics case. Mallik was very aggressive and somewhat successfully exposed the nexus of the BJP and Sameer Wankhede, then the Zonal Director of the Narcotics Control Bureau. Mallik gave him a good run and finally, Wankhede was transferred to Delhi. Mallik was not ready to settle when it came to counterattacking the BJP and its conspiracy. As a result, he was accused in an old land case. Malik was arrested in February 2022 by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in a case allegedly linked to the activities of fugitive gangster Dawood Ibrahim and his associates. It was perhaps an attempt to silence Nawab.
There are talks in political corridors that Ajit Pawar has already bargained for Nawab’s release with Fadnavis before the alliance. Soon after his oath-taking ceremony, Nawab came out on medical bail in mid-August. Malik attended the winter session of the state legislature and was later seen in the office of the Ajit Pawar-led faction of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) in the legislature complex. In the House, he was seen sitting in the last row, next to an MLA of the Ajit Pawar faction. The Nawab entering the house has once again put Devendra in an awkward situation. In a letter to his cabinet colleague Ajit Pawar, expressing opposition to the induction of Nawab Malik in his group, Shiv Sena (UBT) MLC and LoP in Legislative Council Ambadas Danve, he asked the BJP leaders whether he would also oppose the induction of senior NCP leader Praful Patel in the Grand Alliance. Four floors of NCP leader Praful Patel’s Ceejay house in Mumbai were attached by ED in a case related to gangster Iqbal Mirchi, who was the right-hand man of Dawood Ibrahim.
Looking at the attacks from all sides, Maharashtra BJP chief Chandrashekar Bawankule defended Devendra Fadnavis over his objection to NCP MLA Nawab Malik’s inclusion in the ruling ‘Maha Yuti’ alliance. Bawankule said he and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) support the stand taken by Fadnavis in this matter. Ajit Pawar and other NCP leaders who were on the radar of the ED and CBI are now in power. The BJP has conveniently forgotten the promises it made to the people of Maharashtra. All these while they were attacking Maha Vikas Aghadi as an “Auto Rikshaw” (three-wheel vehicle), now came in the same situation for the greed of power. The BJP joined hands with all corrupt leaders, including those who were under the ED scanner. If the BJP can stoop so low for power, they will certainly find some solution to induce Nawab Mallik into their government. Tomorrow, we may hear the news that he is out on bail and has been proven innocent by the court of law. After all, hurting the sentiments of aligned partners will now go in favour of the BJP. Fadnavis has already said that if the charges against Nawab are not proven, he must be welcomed. But when there are such allegations, it is not right to make him part of the grand coalition. Fadnavis had earlier in his speeches referred to Malik’s “Dawood” connection.
Time and again, Nawab Mallik gave tough times to the BJP and Devendra. It’s interesting to see what solution is drawn to induce Mallik into a grand alliance. Ajit will definitely not sacrifice his veteran leader for the BJP.