NCP’s Praful Patel, Sunil Tatkare meet party leader Nawab Malik

Mumbai: NCP leaders Praful Patel and Sunil Tatkare, who support the faction led by Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, on Tuesday met party MLA Nawab Malik who was recently granted interim bail by the Supreme Court on medical grounds in a money laundering case.

Patel later told reporters that they did not discuss any political issue.

Asked about a possible meeting between former state minister Malik and Ajit Pawar, Patel said, “Ajit Pawar will definitely meet Nawab Malik.”.

On Monday, Malik was discharged from a private hospital here, after the Supreme Court last week granted him interim bail for two months on medical grounds in a money laundering case.

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) arrested Malik in February 2022 under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) in a case allegedly linked to fugitive underworld don Dawood Ibrahim and his associates.

The 64-year-old politician has been undergoing treatment at the private hospital since May 2022 for a kidney-related ailment.

On Tuesday, Patel and Tatkare went to Malik’s residence here to meet him and were seen offering sweets to the NCP legislator.

Speaking to reporters, Rajya Sabha member Patel said, “It was a courtesy meeting with Nawab Malik. We enquired about his health and offered him our support. He has spent nearly 16 months in jail.”

“It is our duty to go and meet him as we have been together for the last 25-30 years. We did not discuss any political issue. Going by his health condition, I would urge everybody to give Malik some time to recover. He has some kidney-related issues,” he said.

To a query on NCP leaders facing ED or I-T probes supporting the Ajit Pawar faction, Patel said, “The political stand we have taken is open and clear to all. There will be no comment from our side over it.”.

Malik’s daughter and brother met Ajit Pawar a few days back.

On Monday, Lok Sabha member Supriya Sule, a key leader of the NCP faction led by party founder Sharad Pawar, hailed the interim bail granted to Malik as the “victory of truth”.

“I came here to receive my brother. Satyamev Jayate!” Sule said outside the hospital, where Malik was admitted.

Sule also said her visit to the hospital did not have any political angle.