The claims made by senior Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut on the association of politicians with gangsters, has now been validated by Sundar Sekhar, the adopted son of underworld don Haji Mastan.
In an interaction with news agency ANI, Sekhar has revealed that Raut was not wrong when he recently claimed that former prime minister Indira Gandhi had good relations with underworld gangster Karim Lala as even Sena supremo Balasaheb Thackeray was a “good friend” of Mastan.
“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,” ANI quoted Sekhar as saying.
Raut stirred a hornet’s nest when he during an interview with the Lokmat media group at its award function in Pune, claimed that when underworld don Haji Mastan came to the Secretariat, the whole staff would come down to see him, and that Indira Gandhi too used to meet Karim Lala in Pydhonie (in south Mumbai).
The Congress, immediately took to Twitter to condemn Raut’s remarks, demanding him to withdraw his “ill-informed” statements. Former Union minister Milind Deora, said Gandhi was a true patriot who never compromised on national security, adding that politicians should refrain from distorting legacies of prime ministers who are no more.
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.
Raut’s statement may prove costly for his party, which is in alliance with the Congress and NCP in Maharashtra.
(With inputs from agencies)