Generally, there is a tendency to keep at arm’s length from people who have served jail terms. More so, if the person has had alleged dealings with enemy of India Dawood Ibrahim. Maharashtra’s former minister and NCP leader Nawab Malik was arrested on February 23, 2022 by the Enforcement Directorate under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act in a case allegedly linked to fugitive underworld don Dawood and his associates. After cooling his heels for nearly 18 months he got two months bail from the Supreme Court on August 14, 2023. But what’s surprising is that all NCP leaders were out in full force to meet him at his residence. They were: Supriya Sule, Ajit Pawar, Dilip-Walse Patil, Hasan Mushrif, Praful Patel, Chhagan Bhujbul, AnilDeshmukh and Sunil Tatkare. And reportedly, Sharad Pawar telephonically spoke to Malik. Does this show of solidarity indicate that Malik may be let off the hook? After all, the NCP (Ajit faction) has aligned with the BJP and various agencies have dialled down where his cases are concerned. So too have agencies put on back burner cases on Shiv Sena leaders who quit Uddhav and joined Eknath Shinde camp. It does not require a genius to predict what will happen next going by the past record of politicians who crossed over to the BJP camp. But the general sentiment is that people are not happy; their lament is why are they compromising principles to win elections? Quite.