Dawood absconding thanks to Sharad Pawar, alleges Prakash Ambedkar

Updated: Mar 21, 2019, 11:33 IST | Dharmendra Jore | Mumbai

The underworld don was willing to return to India when Sharad Pawar, as then Maharashtra CM, rejected his surrender proposal, said the leader

Prakash Ambedkar
Prakash Ambedkar

Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi chief Prakash Ambedkar has kicked up a storm by alleging that the then CM Sharad Pawar did not let underworld don Dawood Ibrahim surrender despite the conditional willingness of the mastermind of the 1993 serial blasts.

Ambedkar told a media conference that he knew about the proposal through lawyer Ram Jethmalani, who was his Rajya Sabha colleague then. "Jethmalani himself gave the proposal to Pawar, but he didn't do anything about it. He (Pawar) must explain as to why he took a unilateral decision of rejecting the surrender proposal. In what capacity did he take the decision?" asked Ambedkar.

He said Dawood was ready to return to India (after fleeing the country). "He had put some conditions that the then PM and the Union government could have considered for approval or rejection. He wanted to participate in the judicial trial but didn't want to be ill-treated by the police. He wanted to be put in a safe jail. Why did Pawar, who was Maharashtra CM then, not forward the proposal to the PMO?" he questioned.

NCP's chief spokesperson Nawab Malik has, however, said that Ambedkar's allegations were nothing but an attempt to help the BJP in polls. He said that Pawar had made his position clear in the past. "He has said repeatedly that an absconding criminal cannot be allowed to surrender on his terms and conditions. The government didn't allow it because the conditions that Jethmalani had conveyed to the government were not acceptable," he said.

If Jethmalani was so patriotic, then he should have informed the Interpol, Malik said, adding, "Thereafter Jethmalani became a union minister. Now the BJP has power at the state and Centre. They should make Dawood surrender," he said.

Way forward

Ambedkar said that he wanted to go ahead with the Congress, but the real hurdle in the way was Pawar's NCP. "I have certain objections as far as NCP is concerned. I will make these objections public at an appropriate time," said the leader.

He said that he did not understand why Pawar has been so friendly with Narendra Modi and the BJP. He said the country is now begging of Pakistan to hand over Dawood. "It is time the truth was revealed." When the information came to light in 2015, the BJP government was in power. "At least the Modi government should have made efforts to get Dawood back," he added.

Mohite-Patils in Madha

The Mohite-Patils, one of NCP's strongest members in western Maharashtra, have decided to side with the BJP for the Lok Sabha polls. The son of Vijaysinh, Ranjitsinh will be inducted into the BJP on Wednesday afternoon for fielding from Madha. The father said he supported the son's political move.

Ranjitsinh confirmed the development. He will be the second from a big non-BJP family to enter the ruling party's fold. Sujay Vikhe Patil, the son of opposition leader Radhakrishna entered the BJP last week.

Sources said the family which has been a staunch supporter of Sharad Pawar even after the leader broke away from the Congress in 1999, was upset because the party is reportedly thinking of replacing Vijaysinh, a sitting MP from Madha.

Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis did not reveal the next move, but said, "Aage aage dekho hota hai kya (see what happens next). Many top leaders from other parties will join BJP soon. The Modi wave this time is even bigger than 2014," he said. The politics over this constituency has become very unpredictable because Pawar has withdrawn from there.

EC solves state's finger dilemma

WHAT happens when two elections are held within a span of 15 days and the agencies responsible for conducting these polls ask to ink the same left forefinger of voters?

Certain parts of Maharashtra were to face this situation during the local self-government elections on March 24, a fortnight before the first leg of Lok Sabha polling. But the polling authority can heave a sigh of relief as the Chief Electoral Officer (Election Commission of India) of Maharashtra realised the goof-up and scrapped the directive of the State Election Commission (which is responsible for conducting local self-government contests) that states only the left forefinger is to be inked in local self-government elections.

The CEO has issued a directive to the state commission secretary asking him to tell polling staff to leave the voter's left forefinger for the LS elections. The state commission is free to pick any other finger of the left arm to ink on March 24.

Also Read: Prakash Ambedkar rakes up the fugitive mafia don Dawood Ibrahim's surrender

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