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BJP, Opposition Trade Barbs Over Dawood Ibrahim's “Relative” Link Claim

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BJP, Opposition Trade Barbs Over Dawood Ibrahim's “Relative” Link Claim


Nagpur:

Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Monday rejected NCP MLC Eknath Khadse’s allegations that a BJP minister had attended a wedding in 2017-18 hosted by a family related to fugitive Underworld don Dawood Ibrahim.

Demanding Khadse’s apology to the legislative council for making a baseless claim, Fadnavis said perhaps the allegation was raised because Uddhav Thackeray is present in the House.

Khadse, who belongs to the Sharad Pawar camp of NCP, showed photos of the cabinet minister attending a wedding and alleged that the family is related to Dawood Ibrahim, the prime accused in the 1993 Mumbai serial bomb blasts case.

Council chairperson Neelam Gorhe directed that the name of the minister be removed from the proceeding. She also rejected the opposition’s demand for a discussion.

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Fadnavis, also the Home Minister, said, “The concerned minister and many other political leaders and government officers had attended the wedding of a nephew of a renowned Muslim priest in Nashik city, known as Shaher-e-Khatib.

“An allegation was made that one of the daughters in the family of the in-laws of the bride’s father has been married to one of the brothers of Dawood Ibrahim. There is no case against any one of them. In 2017-18, the investigation team has clearly stated that Shaher-e-Khatib has nothing to do with Dawood,” he said.

Targeting Shiv Sena-UBT, he said, “Why such rigorous attempts were not made when Saleem (Kutta) was with (Sudhakar) Badgujar? I reject these allegations. There is no such connection (Dawood link). He (Khadse) should apologise to the House”.

Badgujar, who heads the Nashik city unit of Shiv Sena-UBT, is facing an investigation after BJP MLA Nitesh Rane displayed a photo in the state assembly last week claiming Badgujar had danced with Dawood Ibrahim’s aide Salim Kutta at a party.

Earlier in the day, Shiv Sena (Shinde) faction legislators raised slogans against Shiv Sena UBT, saying Salim Kutta is the new leader of UBT.

“Everybody knows who is the godfather of Sudhakar Badgujar in Mumbai. Badgujar finances Salim Kutta which is akin to promoting anti-nationals,” state minister Dada Bhuse told reporters on the premises of the Vidhan Bhavan in Nagpur.

Meanwhile, Congress MLA Kailas Gorantyal expressed doubts about the identity of the person purportedly seen in the video with Badgujar.

“Saleem Kutta or Saleem Kurla was murdered a long time ago in Mumbai in 1998. His three wives had approached a TADA court for the release of the property seized by the police earlier. The court had upheld their appeal. We don’t know who this person is (dancing in the video), ” he told reporters.

A case on charges of cheating and corruption has been registered against Badgujar in Nashik by the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB).

Fadnavis on Friday announced a probe by a Special Investigation Team (SIT) into the dance party where Salim Kutta and Badgujar were allegedly present together.

The Anti-Corruption Bureau filed a police complaint against Badgujar accusing him of submitting fake documents of retirement from a company, in which he was a director, in 2006.

“Don’t take unjust action. If the documents (about his retirement from the company) provided by me are proven fake, I will commit suicide, will hang myself in the ACB commissioner’s office,” the Sena (UBT) leader said.

He said the ACB issued a notice to him suddenly at 7 pm on Sunday and his houses were raided.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)



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