The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Pramod ready for DNA test

Mumbai, Aug. 23: Union minister Pramod Mahajan, sucked into the Shivani murder storm, said today he is ready to undergo any test, lie detector or DNA, if it is carried out by the agency investigating the case.

The most sought after politician at the BJP’s Maharashtra executive meet here, Mahajan, who had earlier said that “taking a DNA test is a serious matter…, it isn’t an NDA test”, asserted that he was ready for any “test”.

Hounded by reporters throughout the day, Mahajan remained unruffled as he answered questions ranging from why he backed out of filing a defamation case against Madhu Sharma, wife of prime suspect R.K. Sharma, to why he had refused to take a DNA test.

“I am willing to take any test,’’ he said. “The investigating agency only has to ask for it. But it will be difficult if mediapersons or the family of the prime suspect starts questioning me.’’

Mahajan, who has dismissed the allegations against him as “baseless”, said he would stand trial to a media inquiry, “if it is prepared to substantiate its queries”.

Mahajan said he did not file a defamation suit against Madhu because he did not want to fall into a “carefully prepared trap”.

Political circles are abuzz with rumours that an anti-Mahajan camp within the BJP wants to keep the fire of the Shivani controvery “burning”.

The Mahajan camp feels that getting into a prolonged legal battle with the Sharmas would only help keep the controversy alive in the minds of people.

Mahajan said: “Some people want to divert the people’s attention from the murder case to something else and why should i enter the trap laid for me'”

The minister said legal experts had informed him that “all the allegations are contradictory and there was also a six-month timeframe for filing a defamation suit”. He said he had no immediate plans for filing the defamation case, and added: “I will let you know about it at the time of initiating it.”

Mahajan said: “I have not committed any crime in my life and I cannot even think about a murder.” He added that the demand for the DNA test was coming from a third party and “people have forgotten that a child is also involved in it”.

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