Narendra Dabholkar murder: Blame game within Congress over Sanathan Sanstha ban demand

The Congress, which has now demanded a ban on Sanatan Sanstha for its alleged involvement in rationalist Narendra Dabholkar's murder, could have reigned in the organisation three years ago when it was in power in the state and the Centre.

Prithviraj Chavan and Sushilkumar Shinde
Prithviraj Chavan and Sushilkumar Shinde

Former Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said on Saturday that the then Maharashtra CM, Prithviraj Chavan, did not bring to his notice the seriousness of the demand that the state government had raised. "He (Chavan) never called on me or called me [on the phone] to discuss this matter with me. If he was so interested in getting the Sanatan Sanstha banned, it was his job to convince the home ministry," Shinde told mid-day.

He was reacting to Chavan's statement that Shinde, as home minister, had not taken the matter seriously. According to Chavan, his government had first recommended a ban on the Sanstha in 2011 to then Union Home Minister P Chidambaram, who held the portfolio for 15 months, and then followed it up with Shinde.

He said his government had sent a 1,000-page dossier to the Centre so that the Sanstha could be banned under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act. "The then Union government had even filed an affidavit in the Bombay High Court on June 4, 2013, saying that Sanatan would be banned in 45 days," he said on Saturday.

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