NCP Buttresses Nawab Malik While Protecting His Leadership Portfolios
While Nawab Malik retains his position as Maharashtra Cabinet Minister, his portfolios have been distributed amongst his colleagues, though temporarily. It has been three weeks to his arrest. At the moment, the National Congress Party (NCP) does not seek his resignation.
Malik had retained the Minority Affairs and the Skill Development portfolios in the Shiv Sena-led MVA government till before his arrest in February this year. Nawab Malik was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate in late February in connection with a money laundering case against underworld don Dawood Ibrahim. He has been in judicial custody since.
Water Resources Minister Jayant Patil and NCP Unit President has said the party’s decision will be conveyed to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray who, he added, will take the final call in this regard. The party still holds that Mr. Malik was arrested in the wrong manner. Therefore, it is in no mood to accept his resignation.
The meeting to decide the fate of Mr. Malik, took place at Sharad Pawar’s residence. It was attended by Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, ministers Chhagan Bhujbal and Dilip Walse Patil and party’s senior leaders Praful Patel and Sunil Tatkare, besides Mr Patil. Mr Malik, a senior NCP leader, is a cabinet minister who holds minority affairs and skill development portfolios in the Shiv Sena-led MVA government.
Malik, who heads the NCP’s Mumbai unit, is also the guardian minister for Parbhani and Gondia districts. According to sources, the NCP may give the charge of minority affairs portfolio to Housing Development Minister Jitendra Awhad. The charge of the skill development department may go to Rural Development Minister Hasan Mushrif, while Malik’s guardian ministerships of Parbhani and Gondia will be given to Social Justice Minister Dhananjay Munde and Minister of State for Urban Development Prajakt Tanpure, respectively.