After Congress leaders Milind Deora and Sanjay Nirupam asked him through their social media to withdraw his statement, Rajya Sabha MP and Shiv Sena senior leader Sanjay Raut withdrew his ‘ill-informed’ statement against former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.
Taking to his twitter handle, former Mumbai Congress chief Milind Deora wrote, “Indira ji was a true patriot who never compromised on India’s national security. 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.”
Indira ji was a true patriot who never compromised on India’s national security.
Political leaders must show restraint before distorting the legacies of deceased Prime Ministers
— Milind Deora मिलिंद देवरा (@milinddeora) January 16, 2020
Congress Spokesperson Raju Waghmare told Afternoon Voice, “I don’t think that Mr. Sanjay Raut has said this statement deliberately. Because sometimes what happens is a politician talks on a particular topic but the meaning that comes out are dual. Taking part in an interview, Mr. Raut came out with this remark but no matter what happened, this kind of statement should not come from any political leader until and unless he has a proof about what he is saying, especially when the political parties work in the coalition government. The leader should think twice before giving any statement. However, after Raut’s statement, we instructed our leaders and spokesperson that whenever they are making any statement, they should make sure that their statements should not create any controversy.”
In an interview in Pune on Wednesday, Raut had said that Indira Gandhi used to go and meet Karim Lala in South Mumbai. “There was a time when Chhota Shakeel, Dawood Ibrahim, Sharad Shetty used to decide who would be police commissioner of Mumbai and who would sit in Mantralaya. Indira Gandhi used to go and meet Karim Lala in South Mumbai,” he quipped.
After Raut’s remark, BJP leader and former Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis sought an explanation from the Congress leadership over Raut’s comments and asked why the party was silent on such allegations against their former leader.
Raut’s remarks led to a controversy amongst the political party. However, on Thursday, he withdrew his controversial statement and said, “Our friends from the Congress need not feel hurt. If someone feels that my statement has hurt the image of Indira Gandhi ji or hurt someone’s feelings, I take back my statement.”
The editor of Shiv Sena mouthpiece has given clarification that he has all respect for Indira Gandhi and his remarks were distorted.
Kareem Lala was leader of Pathan community, he led an organisation called ‘Pakhtun-e-Hind’. It was in this capacity of the leader of Pathan community that he met several top leaders including Indira Gandhi
However, those who do not the history of Mumbai, r twisting my statement
— Sanjay Raut (@rautsanjay61) January 16, 2020
“Kareem Lala was leader of Pathan community; he led an organisation called ‘Pakhtun-e-Hind’. It was in this capacity of the leader of Pathan community that he met several top leaders including Indira Gandhi. However, those who do not know the history of Mumbai are twisting my statement. I have never shied away from praising Indira Gandhi as an iron lady who took decisions with an iron fist. Surprisingly, those who do not know the history of Indiraji are shouting on top of their voice (sic),” Raut tweeted by tagging Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Rajeev Satav.
The Congress party that shares power with Shiv Sena and NCP in Maharashtra had formed a collaboration party and formed Maha Vikas Aghadi government in November 2019.