The opposition Congress today claimed that senior BJP leader and Water Resources Minister Girish Mahajan had attended the marriage of a relative of underworld don Dawood Ibrahim in Nashik, and demanded a high-level probe.
Congress spokesperson Sachin Sawant said the photos of Mahajan, who is the guardian minister of Nashik district, attending the marriage have gone viral. Some police personnel in Nashik are already in the soup after reports surfaced that they attended the marriage of the woman whose family members are said to be relatives of Dawood, at a posh mall in Mahatma Nagar locality of Nashik, around 170 kms away from Mumbai.
Local media in Nashik had reported that Mahajan and some MLAs attended the function. “The BJP minister and some party legislators attending the wedding of an international don is a very serious matter and a shocking issue. A high-level probe needs to be conducted into this,” Sawant told reporters here.
Mahajan remained unavailable for comment. When contacted, the BJP spokesperson Madhav Bhandari accepted that Mahajan attended the marriage, but from the side of the bridegroom.
“Girish Mahajan had attended the wedding from the groom’s side and he did not have any idea about the girl’s relation with Dawood. As far as the Congress’ demand on the BJP coming out clean in relation with Dawood is concerned, the Congress has many hidden secrets. They should first introspect and then level allegations,” Bhnadari said.
Nashik police commissioner Ravindra Singhal yesterday ordered an internal inquiry against the concerned personnel of Bhadrakali police station on the basis of reports that they attended the marriage. The groom is the son of a former local corporator. Though some politicians, including MLAs and corporators, reportedly attended the function, the police commissioner yesterday said he could not confirm this though he conceded that the invitation for the marriage was indeed sent to some politicians.
Maharashtra DGP Satish Mathur today said he has demanded a report from Nashik police on the issue. “Instructions to take action against the police personnel, if any illegality is found in attending the marriage, have been given,” he told reporters in Thane.
Meanwhile, recalling the resignation tendered by senior BJP minister Eknath Khadse last year after the allegations of propriety had surfaced against him in a land deal, Sawant asked, “why different standards of justice are being applied in both the cases?”
“The marriage function in which BJP leaders and some police officials were present was of the people very close to Dawood Ibrahim. This shows how Dawood’s well wishers are entrenched in the system,” Sawant said. The Congress leader claimed he had the information that Intelligence Bureau (IB) is probing the issue.
“The IB investigating this case proves that Dawood’s relatives are on the radar of the intelligence agency. Senior ministers and the Guardian Minister (Mahajan) not being aware about this does not seem possible,” he said.
Recalling the Khadse episode, wherein a hacker had claimed that the then minister had been speaking to Dawood Ibrahim over phone, Sawant said “It is imperative to know about the BJP leaders’ connection with relatives of Dawood”. Previously, Khadse was alleged to have spoken to Dawood on phone, which was one of the reasons for demanding his resignation. Now, justice should be equal for both (Khadse and Mahajan), he added.