Crack in MVA? Congress asks Sanjay Raut to withdraw 'underworld' remarks against Indira Gandhi

Congress leader and former union minister Milind Deora described Gandhi as a 'true patriot who never compromised on India's national security'.

Published: 16th January 2020 01:21 PM  |   Last Updated: 16th January 2020 01:21 PM   |  A+A-

Senior Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut addresses a press conference after the party's meeting in Mumbai Thursday Nov. 7 2019. | (Photo | PTI)

Senior Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut. (File | PTI)

By PTI

MUMBAI: Congress leaders Milind Deora and Sanjay Nirupam on Thursday asked Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut to withdraw his "ill-informed" remarks that former prime minister Indira Gandhi met underworld don Karim Lala.

Deora, who is the former Union minister, described Gandhi as a "true patriot who never compromised on India's national security".

Raut, whose party is part of the ruling alliance with the Congress and NCP in Maharashtra, on Wednesday claimed that Gandhi met Karim Lala in Mumbai.

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.

Deora said politicians should refrain from "distorting" legacies of prime ministers who are no more.

"Indira ji was a true patriot who never compromised on India's national security," he said in a tweet.

"As former @INCMumbai President, I demand that @rautsanjay61 ji withdraws his ill-informed statement. Political leaders must show restraint before distorting the legacies of deceased Prime Ministers," Deora further tweeted.

ALSO READ | 'Always stood up for her', clarifies Sanjay Raut after Indira Gandhi met don comment irks Congress

Former Mumbai Congress chief Nirupam said Raut will "repent" if he continues a "false campaign" against Gandhi.

Noting that Raut often shares "poetry of others", Nirupam said it will be better if the Shiv Sena leader focuses on entertaining Maharashtra with such poetic stuff.

"It will be better if Shiv Sena's Mr Shayar (poet) focuses on entertaining Maharashtra by sharing light-hearted poetry of others. He will have to repent if he carries out false campaign against former Prime Minister Indira Gandhiji. He should withdraw the statement he gave about Indiraji yesterday," Nirupam tweeted in Hindi.

During an interview to the Lokmat media group at its award function in Pune, Raut claimed, "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)."

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