Will First Ascertain Malik’s Position Before Outlining Party Position: Ajit Pawar

He claimed, “In the meantime, the media revealed on TV where he sat, why he sat, and who he sat with.” According to Ajit Pawar, Malik attended the assembly after the NCP’s July 2 joining of the Maha Yuti governing coalition.

“After hearing his (Malik’s) stand, I will put forth my and my party’s position,” he said. In a letter to Ajit Pawar on Thursday, Fadnavis expressed his reluctance to include Malik—an accused in an ED case—in the governing ‘Maha Yuti’ coalition. Malik, who was detained by the ED in February 2022 on suspicion of money laundering and was out on medical bail, made his first appearance in the state legislature’s winter session on Thursday. Later on, he was seen in the assembly complex in the office of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) group headed by Ajit Pawar.

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He was seen in the House sitting close to an MLA from the Ajit Pawar group in the final row. The government-affiliated BJP came under fire from the opposition, which pointed out that it had previously called Malik a “traitor” after claims that he had completed a property transaction in Mumbai with the aides of wanted criminal Dawood Ibrahim. Malik has not yet said whether he is a member of the NCP headed by Sharad Pawar or the Ajit Pawar group.

Malik has the right to attend the assembly as an MLA, according to Fadnavis’ letter to Ajit Pawar, another deputy chief minister. He further said that “we (the BJP) do not harbor any personal animosity or grudge” against Malik. “However, considering the kind of allegations he is facing, we are of the opinion that it would not be appropriate to induct him in the Maha Yuti,” the leader of the BJP said. We both believe that the decision of who should be included in your party is yours to make. However, each Maha Yuti component party has to consider if it would be detrimental to the alliance. Therefore, we reject this,” Fadnavis said.