The President of Maharashtra Congress and the Revenue Minister of the state, Balasaheb Thorat, warned Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut on Thursday and asked him to avoid making any controversial comments about the Congress party in the future.
This comes after Sanjay Raut made remarks on late PM Indira Gandhi alleging connections with the underworld. Thorat, while condemning the comments made by Raut, praised her contribution to the development of the country. This came just after Sanjay Raut withdrew his comments.
Statement about Bharat Ratna Indira Ji Gandhi has been withdrawn by Sanjay Raut. This controversy ends here. But in future, Raut should avoid making such irresponsible & irrelevant statements with respect to our leaders as this will not be tolerated.— Balasaheb Thorat (@bb_thorat) January 16, 2020
Indira ji Gandhi was a dynamic national leader. In 1975, she broke the backbone of the crime world in Mumbai, dismantled the smuggling racket as well and put all criminals like Karim Lala, Haji Mastan Yusuf Patel behind the bars to maintain law & order situation— Balasaheb Thorat (@bb_thorat) January 16, 2020
Infamous underworld don met Devendra Fadnavis at Varsha when he was CM. He not only protected another criminal Munna Yadav but appointed him on government board. Fadnavis has no moral right to speak on this subject.— Balasaheb Thorat (@bb_thorat) January 16, 2020
After facing backlash from Maharashtra coalition partner Congress, Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut retracted his statement where he claimed that former PM Indira Gandhi had links with underworld dons of Mumbai - specifically that she'd meet Haji Mastan and Karim Lala. The outspoken Sena leader came under fire from Congress leaders like Sanjay Nirupam, Milind Deora and Abhishek Singhvi over his controversial remark made on Wednesday. The Sena, NCP and Congress have allied as the Maha Vikas Aghadi coalition to govern Maharashtra.
"Our friends in Congress need not be offended by this. I have defended Indira Gandhi many times when she was attacked while Congress kept mute. If someone thinks that my statement would dent the stature of Indira Ji or hurt the sentiment of someone, then I retract my statement," Raut told reporters in Mumbai.
Talking about the past influence of the underworld over Mumbai, Sanjay Raut 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 and Indira Gandhi used to meet Karim Lala in south Mumbai
"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)".
Following this, an image of Indira Gandhi with Karim Lala has also been accessed.