After courting controversy over his statement of 'Indira Gandhi meeting underworld don Karim Lala', Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut in his defence has now changed the image of Karim Lala from an underworld don of yesteryears to a leader who worked for the welfare of Pathans. He said that not just Indira Gandhi but several politicians used to meet Karim Lala.
"Karim Lala was a leader of an organization called Pakhtun-e-Hind which worked for the welfare of Pathans in India. He had come from Afghanistan and he was associated with Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan. He used to meet then Prime Minister Indira Ji and several other politicians. His home was filled with photographs of him with several politicians."
After angering the Congress with his comparison, Raut said, "If someone misinterprets my statement or puts it in a misleading way then it is their political compulsion. I have always respected Indira Ji, Pandit Ji, Rajiv Ji and all our leaders. Congress leaders should especially know that whenever people used to comment or even till date if anybody comments on Indira Ji, I have always stood for her when Congress has stayed quiet".
The Shiv Sena MP has also taken to Twitter to defend his statement.
Kareem Lala was leader of Pathan community, he led an organisation called 'Pakhtun-e-Hind'. It was in this capacity of the leader of Pathan community that he met several top leaders including Indira Gandhi— Sanjay Raut (@rautsanjay61) January 16, 2020
However, those who do not the history of Mumbai, r twisting my statement
In another tweet, he lauded the former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi who imposed emergency, calling her the iron lady.
I have never shied away from praising Indira Gandhi as an iron lady who took decisions with iron fist. Surprisingly those who do not history of Indiraji are shouting on top of the voice. @AUThackeray@RahulGandhi @SATAVRAJEEV @— Sanjay Raut (@rautsanjay61) January 16, 2020
In an interview with a local Marathi news agency on Wednesday, Raut claimed that Indira Gandhi met with underworld don Karim Lala. Talking about the past influence of the underworld over Mumbai, he claimed that the underworld decided who will be the city's commissioner and in the state secretariat. Moreover, he claimed that the entire secretariat would meet don Haji Mastan when he was in town.