As a controversy broke out on Thursday after Sanjay Raut made a statement that former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi met underworld don Karim Lala, Congress has now hinted that such statements can hurt the alliance. Speaking to Republic TV, Congress leader Tariq Anwar has said Raut should be careful before giving these statements. He also brushed aside the sensational charge made by Raut about Indira Gandhi.
"There's no truth in it. he should keep in mind that this is a coalition govt. He should not say something that would affect the alliance," he said.
In an interview with a local marathi news agency, Shiv Sena's Rajya SabhaMP Raut said: "They (underworld) used to decide who will be Mumbai's police commissioner and who will sit in Mantralaya (state secretariat)," Raut said. He added, "When (underworld don) Haji Mastan came to Mantralaya, the entire secretariat would come down to see him. Indira Gandhi used to meet Karim Lala in Pydhonie (in south Mumbai)". Congress is yet to comment on Raut's statement.
Karim Lala was one of the three top underworld dons of Mumbai for over two decades, from the sixties to the early eighties, the other two being Mastan Mirza alias Haji Mastan and Varadarajan Mudaliar. Raut claimed he clicked pictures of many gangsters, including Dawood Ibrahim, adding that he had once even rebuked the gangster. Incidentally, Shiv Sena which was founded in 1960s, has held power over Mumbai since 1985.