Updated: July 12, 2021 12:01:23 pm
A day after state urban development minister Eknath Shinde held a closed-door meeting with him in Jalgaon on Saturday, advocate Ujwal Nikam, the special public prosecutor in several high-profile cases, denied he was joining any political party.
“No, I am not joining any political party,” Nikam told The Indian Express, when asked if he had received an offer from the Shiv Sena. “I have good relations with political leaders. We keep meeting each other… Shinde (Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde) was on a tour of Jalgaon. We met, had a chat… but not on political issues. The Sena leader did not make an offer to me to join the party,” Nikam added.
Asked how many parties had approached him, Nikam said, “The NCP is the only party that had approached me during the last Lok Sabha elections. I was even offered the ticket to contest the LS polls. I had refused the offer,” he said, adding, “even another Sena leader Sanjay Raut had met me at my residence last month. It was a personal visit and not political.”
Asked if there was a possibility of him joining any political party in the future, Nikam said, “I can’t speak about the future in the present. If anything has to happen, it will happen at that moment. It is futile to talk about what is going to happen in future. Let us live in the present, I am not joining any political party, that’s for sure.”
Stating that he had friends in all political parties, but had never taken sides or compromised with his profession, Nikam said, “When the Congress was in power, both in the state and Centre, I had fought against Sanjay Dutt in the arms possession case. Similarly, I had also fought a case against Sena supremo Balasaheb Thackeray.”
Asked which party he followed or was close to his heart, Nikam said these were personal matters and should be kept secret.
When contacted, Sena chief spokesperson Sanjay Raut denied that the Sena was seeking to rope in Nikam. “No, there is no truth in it. We have not approached Nikam to join the party. Shinde had met Nikam, that is true, but it must be for personal reasons. I had also met Nikam last month, we discussed general issues and not political,” he said, adding, “the Sena has no plans to make the special PP (public prosecutor) an offer to join the party.”
He also denied speculation that the Sena was planning to offer Nikam a Rajya Sabha seat.
Nikam first shot to fame when he was picked by the government as the special public prosecutor in the serial Mumbai blasts of 1993. After that, he fought several high-profile terrorism and murder cases, including the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attack case, Gulshan Kumar murder case and Pramod Mahajan murder case.
A BJP leader said the Sena was looking at Nikam’s legal expertise as some of its leaders were facing probes from central agencies. “The ED (Enforcement Directorate) is already investigating one Sena leader and soon a Sena minister will also face an ED probe,” the leader added.
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