Zee Media Bureau/Hemant Abhishek
New Delhi: After his unceremonious removal from the Bharatiya Janata Party, former JD(U) leader Sabir Ali on Sunday demanded an apology from BJP`s Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi for his allegations that he was close to Indian Mujahideen co-founder Yasin Bhatkal.
Ali alongwith his wife held a press conference in the capital and dared Naqvi to prove the allegations that he had harboured Bhatkal. He said, “Charges against me are completely baseless. Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi`s statement has disturbed me, I have no links with any terrorist.”
Challenging Naqvi openly, Ali said he was ready to face the gallows if allegations against him were proven.
Ali then recalled his acquaintance with Naqvi to reiterate that the latter had never made any utterance against him while he was at JD(U) but things changed upon his induction into the BJP.
“I was in the Rajya Sabha for six years, I was in JD(U), during that time nobody said anything about me. We were in the same house of Parliament, we were on friendly terms, at that time he didn`t say anything about me. A few days ago we travelled together on a flight, even then he said nothing,” said Ali.
“But when I joined BJP, maybe `they` felt people who are connected to ground reality would be a threat to them,” he added.
Sabir Ali`s wife, who claimed she was disturbed with the allegations, said, "It has been 48 hours since Naqvi saab made the allegations. I want media to ask how do they know that Ali saab knows Bhatkal?”
Ali even threatened legal action against Naqvi, and said, “I am sending a legal notice to Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi. He must apologise within 24 hours.”
“I want a written apology from Naqvi saab within 24 hours or want him to provide proof of our relations with Bhatkal,” said Ali.
He even dared Naqvi to a `show of strength` of sorts, and said, “Put BJP tag aside and let`s see how many people you can gather, I will show what ground strength I have.”
Earlier on Saturday, the BJP had cancelled the membership of Sabir Ali amid growing dissidence over his induction into its ranks.
Addressing a press conference, BJP`s deputy leader in Rajya Sabha Ravi Shankar Prasad had said that party president Rajnath Singh had decided to annul Ali`s one-day-old membership.
He also announced passing a resolution that directs BJP members to discuss matters related to induction in internal forums only.
Senior BJP leaders were unhappy with senior BJP leader Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi for expressing his dissent regarding Ali`s induction on social media.
Sabir Ali had earlier urged the Bihar BJP unit to put his membership on hold. The Rajya Sabha MP had also offered to quit politics forever if it was proved that he has any connection with terrorist Yasin Bhatkal as alleged by Naqvi.
On Friday, BJP leader Naqvi, while referring to Sabir Ali, had tweeted: "Terrorist Bhatakal friend join BJP...soon accepting Dawood...". Naqvi has deleted the controversial tweet.
There have been allegations on social media that Indian Mujahideen co-founder Yaseen Bhatkal was arrested from Sabir Ali`s house. Police or the Home Ministry have, however, not given any such information officially.