Sanjay Raut, the political advisor to Shiv Sena and Thackeray family, has opened Pandora’s Box on the relationship of politicians with Mumbai underworld. One after other statement is being made by descendants of the underworld families; about the connection between politicians of the Congress and Shiv Sena with the Mumbai underworld, which is on the verge of extinction.
Sundar Shekhar, the adopted son of Haji Mastan- another infamous criminal from Mumbai underworld, has confirmed that, Indira Gandhi used to meet karim Lala. “Sanjay Raut is right. Indira Gandhi used to meet him [Karim Lala]. Many other leaders also used to visit. Haji Mastan was a businessman. Balasaheb Thackeray too was a good friend of Haji Mastan,” said Shekhar.
Earlier Karim Lala’s grandson, Salim Pathan, also confirmed that Indira Gandhi used to meet Karim Lala. He also claimed that NCP chief Sharad Pawar and late Shiv Sena supremo, Bal Thackeray, also used to regularly meet the dreaded gangster.
After Sanjay Raut exposed the connections of Congress politicians with Mumbai underworld, the former CM of Maharashtra- Devendra Fadnavis raised very legitimate questions to which Congress party is answerable. “Sanjay Raut has made a major expose about late PM Indira Gandhi. Why was she visiting Mumbai and whether the Congress was funded by the underworld of Mumbai? Was it the beginning of criminalisation of politics?” asked Fadnavis.
A few days ago, Sanjay Raut exposed the corruption in Maharashtra’s politics and its overt criminalization. He also talked about the influence of Mumbai underworld in deciding the political posts in the state. “There was a time when Dawood Ibrahim, Chhota Shakeel, Sharad Shetty used to decide who would be Police Commissioner of Mumbai and who would sit in the ‘Mantralaya’. Indira Gandhi used to go and meet Karim Lala. We’ve seen that underworld, now it’s just ‘chillar’,” said Sanjay Raut.
Later in clarification of his earlier statement, Sanjay Raut said that underworld don Karim Lala was associated with Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan, also known as frontier Gandhi. “He (Karim Lala) was associated with Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan, who is also known as Frontier Gandhi. Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan, Karim Lala, they all used to meet Indira Gandhi and other leaders to discuss issues concerning Pathans. That’s all I said that they had that kind of reputation,” said Raut in the clarification.
In the last few months, especially after the results of Maharashtra assembly polls were declared, Sanjay Raut has become the biggest news-maker from the state. He is getting into one controversy after another with his provocative and controversial statements on various issues. On Twitter, he is being trolled endlessly for his ‘sadak-chaap’ shayri’s and quotes.
Sanjay Raut is a Rajya Sabha MP from Shiv Sena and he is said to be upset over his brother, Sunil Raut, MLA from Vikroli constituency, not awarded with cabinet berth in the alliance government.
Raut did not attend the swearing in ceremony of the 36 ministers. The party mouthpiece, Saamana, also criticized the ministerial expansion and opined that original Shiv Sainiks are being ignored at the cost of newcomers and alliance partners. It is important to note here that Sanjay Raut is Editor in Chief of Saamana, and therefore, the article must have been curated by him.
Now, no one knows whether Raut made these statements intentionally, in frustration over his brother not getting a cabinet berth, or he was just being himself. But for whatever reasons, he has opened up the sins of Congress and NCP once again for public scrutiny.
As the younger generations comes to know about the kind of connections top NCP and Congress politicians had with Mumbai underworld; it is poised to tarnish the public image and electoral prospects of these parties. And the frustration over the damage done by Raut is visible in the statements made by Congress leaders against him.
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