Pravin Mahajan washes family dirty linen; kins defend Pramod (Lead)

April 12th, 2009 - 6:52 pm ICT by IANS  

Pravin Mahajan Mumbai, April 12 (IANS) In a book that brings out the family’s dirty linen, Pravin Mahajan, undergoing a life term for murder of his brother and late Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Pramod Mahajan, has called him a “fixer, dealer and double-dealer”. But the Mahajan family called the allegations “blatantly false”.
The around 175-page book, entitled “My Album”, will be published in Marathi and English soon. A 15-page extract of the book is available with IANS.

The book, which Pravin said was inspired within the confines of the prison walls where he is currently lodged, dwells upon several aspects of his elder brother’s personal, professional and political life, his principles, his political associates, etc, many of them not exactly laudatory.

Pramod, eldest of the three brothers, (Prakash being the middle brother) was shot by his youngest sibling on April 22, 2006. Pravin had gone to Pramod’s house in Worli and pumped several bullets into his abdomen. After battling for survival, Pramod died May 3.

Recalling his association with his elder brother, Pravin said that Pramod did everything his way by either “buying” everybody or “scaring” them into submission to his will.

“He symbolized everything in politics, he was a fixer, dealer, double-dealer, conspirator, etc, just like Amar Singh,” he has written.

Pravin said that in 1984, during the Lok Sabha elections, Pramod declared that politics was his “mission” not “profession”.

“Then, when did he slip?” Pravin asks.

He said that between 1998-2004 Pramod handled several Lok Sabha and assembly elections around the country. Election times were when a lot of money flowed into the party coffers which he used for “personal pleasure pursuits”. He never revealed the sources of his funds to the party and even told Pravin never to do so, the book extract says.

In a hurriedly convened press conference, Prakash Mahajan, rubbished the allegations in the book, calling it a “figment of imagination” and a “conspiracy”.

According to the book excerpts, once Sharad Pawar (Nationalist Congress Party chief) had saved Pramod from a major problem. In 1998, Pramod had committed a blunder while filling up his nomination form for Rajya Sabha elections. He had shown his profession as “Advisor to Prime Minister”, which was an ‘office of profit’.

This was brought to Pramod’s notice by Pawar. Pramod immediately rectified it by giving a back-dated resignation letter from his advisory post. The reason, Pravin explained, was that there were seven seats and eight contestants. If Pramod’s papers had been rejected, then Pawar’s arch-rival Suresh Kalmadi would have been elected unopposed.

He said that Pramod had become arrogant with his position in the party and the knowledge that he was in the midst of all leaders, ranging from Pawar to Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray.

Discussing the family front, Pravin said that his entire family as well as sister-in-law (Pramod’s wife) Rekha and her children have suffered a lot.

He cited several disturbing instances in this regard:

“Will my mother deny that Pramod once raised his hand to beat her and isn’t Gopinath Munde (sister’s husband) aware of this?

“Did Rahul Mahajan (Pramod’s son) once not complain to me about his (prospective) wife Shweta’s loose character?”

“Did Poonam Mahajan (Pramod’s daughter) once not tell me how her father went with some friend to Europe/US in 1992, bringing tears to my eyes? What do Prakash Mahajan and Pratima Mahajan (his wife) have to say about this?”

Rebutting the allegations Prakash said: “Pravin was always unemployed, his wife Sarangi loved to enjoy life without doing anything and he (Pravin) ran his household by blackmailing Pramod.”

“Let Sarangi answer how she runs her house expenses now,” Prakash said

Calling Pramod as a “diamond”, Prakash said that his character was “spotless”, contrary to Pravin’s wild allegations.

“If that was so, why was the whole family not aware of it and why Pravin never raised the issue of Pramod’s so-called ‘bad character’ before his death,” Prakash said.

Referring to the purported incident of Pramod raising his hand to beat their mother, Prakash said it was false.

“If it was indeed so, why we were not informed about it? Why did he remember it now, three years after Pramod’s death? This is nothing but an attempt by Pravin to absolve himself of the crime of killing his elder brother who brought him up like a father.”

Dismissing another incident in the book’s extract that said Pramod was responsible for their father’s death, Prakash said that Pravin was barely nine years old at that time.

He said it was wrong that their father suffered a heart attack after a quarrel with their mother.

“Our father died due to a hypertension stroke when Pramod was a student of journalism in Pune. He even took part in our father’s funeral, walking barefoot in the scorching April sun. Later, he raised us all like a father figure. Pravin is talking nonsense,” he said.

He said that the book is nothing but an attempt by a section of the media to “make a hero of Pravin, who is a convicted killer”.

“I speak for the entire family,” he said.

Pravin’s wife Sarangi, in a statement to IANS, said: “This book should be treated as an ordinary book.”

However, Sarangi made it clear Sunday morning that this book is not an autobiography of her husband, merely an authentic account of certain incidents in his life which he experienced.

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