MUMBAI: A day after Congress MLA Aslam Shaikh was inducted into the Maharashtra Cabinet, an old letter of his seeking clemency for 1993 Mumbai serial blasts convict Yakub Memon has gone viral on social media.
Shaikh blamed the BJP for it, alleging that since the saffron party failed to retain power in the state, it was misleading people on various issues.
Shaikh was one of the leaders from Maharashtra who sought clemency for Memon in 2015.
The Shiv Sena, which was at that time part of the BJP-led coalition, had welcomed the death sentence for Memon.
The Thackeray-led party last month joined hands with the Congress and NCP, its traditional adversaries, to form government in the state after its alliance with the BJP collapsed over the issue of sharing the chief minister's post.
Speaking to reporters on Tuesday after his old letter went viral on social media, Shaikh, who is an MLA from Malad seat in Mumbai, said, "Since the day BJP was dethroned, it is misleading people on various issues.
" "Those who construct Nathuram Godse's temple are levelling charges against me (of being soft on terrorism).
These are the same people who had assassinated Mahatma Gandhi.
They are trying to do what the British could even not do," the minister said.
In July 2015, Shaikh wrote a letter to then President Pranab Mukherjee, seeking clemency for Memon.
However, his mercy plea was turned down and Memon was hanged in a Nagpur jail on July 30, 2015.