Maharashtra’s ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) on Monday announced a probe by the state CID into a pen drive submitted by the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party alleging conspiracies and mafia links.
Leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis, who handed over the pen-drive – his second in the past 6 days – to the Speaker, along with other BJP members, also demanded that the matter be handed over to the Central Bureau of Investigation.
Later, Home Minister Dilip Walse-Patil announced that the state CID would probe the ‘pen-drive’ bomb in which, among the allegations, are irregularities by Special Public Prosecutor Pravin Chavan.
Walse-Patil further announced that Chavan had tendered his resignation and the government had accepted it, but the Opposition was not satisfied and threatened to move the court for a CBI probe, sparking a fresh tiff between the MVA-BJP.
Fadnavis further accused the MVA government of allegedly appointing persons with links to absconding mafia don Dawood Ibrahim Kaskar to the State Waqf Board, overseen by Minority Affairs Minister Nawab Malik – currently under arrest by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and in judicial custody till March 21.
He claimed that the pen drive submitted on Monday contains a conversation between two Waqf Board Members Mohammed Arshad Khan and Dr. Mudassir Lambe, in which the latter is purportly claiming that his father-in-law was an associate of Dawood while Khan claimed his uncle was part of the mafia network.
Khan is currently in jail but Lambe is outside despite facing rape and other charges, Fadnavis contended.
After Walse-Patil’s hard-hitting replies and heated exchanges on both sides over the issue of which agency would probe the pen drive contents, the BJP members slammed the government, staged a walk-out from the House, and threatened to move the court for a CBI probe.
Earlier, on March 8, Fadnavis had submitted 125 hours of recordings of alleged mafia links with the MVA government, but top leaders including Nationalist Congress Party President Sharad Pawar, Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi chief Dr Prakash Ambedkar and others have raised doubts over it.
In what was interpreted as a fallout of the first pen drive bomb dropped by Fadnavis, the Mumbai Cyber Police questioned him at home on his stand in the sensational illegal phone-tapping case of last year.