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Will govt continue action on seized properties of Praful Patel for gangster Mirchi link, asks Uddhav

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Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Uddhav Thackeray on Monday wondered whether the government would take action over NCP leader Praful Patel’s properties seized for alleged links with gangster Iqbal Mirchi . Patel, a former confidant of NCP founder Sharad Pawar, is a member of the NCP camp led by Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar.

Thackeray’s attack on Patel came days after Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis wrote an open letter to Ajit Pawar expressing his reservations about former minister Nawab Malik’s inclusion in the ruling alliance. ‘Maha Yuti’.

Malik, an NCP leader who served as a minister in the MVA government, is an accused in a money laundering case and is currently on bail on medical grounds.

“My question is whether the government will take action on the seized properties of Praful Patel who is related to underworld don Iqbal Mirchi,” Thackeray told reporters at the Vidhan Bhavan premises here.

Patel was summoned by the Enforcement Directorate earlier in connection with its money laundering probe linked to the alleged illegal holdings of Mirchi, who was an aide to fugitive underworld don Dawood Ibrahim.

Patel, who was with Sharad Pawar at the time, said there was not a single “one paisa worth property transaction”. In an oblique reference to Fadnavis’ open letter to Ajit Pawar, Thackeray said he was surprised to see that “two colleagues sitting next to each other had to communicate through a letter”. Malik recently caused a stir when he occupied a treasury bench seat during the ongoing winter session of the state legislature in Nagpur.

Earlier in the day, Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde took a dig at Thackeray, an MLC, for attending the winter session of the state legislature four days after its commencement.

“This shows that he (Thackeray) is serious about the farmers’ issues,” he had said while speaking to reporters.

When asked about Shinde’s remarks, Thackeray said, “CM Shinde is not serious about farmers’ issues which reflect his work. I have seen a prime minister driving a tractor in the sea for the first time”.

Shinde recently drove a tractor on a beach in Mumbai in a cleanliness drive launched by the city municipal corporation.

Asked on issues related to the Vidarbha region that were not raised in the legislature, Thackeray asked reporters to direct this question to Fadnavis, who hails from Nagpur.

“We are ready to discuss all issues and are always ready to support what is in the best interest of the people of Vidarbha and Maharashtra,” he said.

Interestingly, Shiv Sena has always opposed the creation of a separate state of Vidarbha by dividing Maharashtra.

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