Ex-PM Rao backed Dawood surrender rejection: Pawar
NEW DELHI: Former Maharashtra chief minister Sharad Pawar has said the then Prime Minister Narasimha Rao backed his decision to reject 1993 Mumbai blasts mastermind Dawood Ibrahim’s conditional offer of surrender, a statement that comes at a time when authorities are making fresh efforts to catch the fugitive gangster.
In his memoir, “On My Terms: From the Grassroots to the Corridors of Power”, the former Union minister also claims that the Pakistani military had instructed their collaborators in Mumbai to “eliminate” him because of his success in preventing communal riots in the city following the deadly bombings that killed over 350 people.
Two days after the blasts, Rao called up Pawar, who was chief minister at the time, and advised him to upgrade his personal security as the Intelligence Bureau (IB) had intercepted conversations in which a Pakistani defence officer was instructing a henchman in Mumbai to kill him, the NCP chief says.
Pawar has also pointed fingers at the Congress “First Family” for instigating a section of party men to speak up against him, thickening the “cloud of suspicion” about his links with the underworld kingpin, India’s most-wanted man, who is believed to be hiding in Pakistan.
Congress spokespersons refused to comment on the charges.
CONTINUED ON P11
Sharad Pawar: Book revelation