The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Shakeel link slur on PMO

Mumbai, March 19: Reading out from transcripts of the Chhota Shakeel tapes, Maharashtra deputy chief minister Chhagan Bhujbal today alleged that the Prime Minister’s Office had mafia links.

He was replying to the Shiv Sena accusation that he had connections with the underworld. Bhujbal read out a passage from the transcripts where don Chhota Shakeel is allegedly speaking to film producer Naseem Rizvi.

Bhujbal said that in the tapes, Rizvi told Shakeel he had sought help from an official in the PMO on the transfer of three well-known Mumbai crime branch officials — Pradeep Sawant, Pradeep Sharma and Daya Nayak.

The deputy chief minister also said Rizvi told Shakeel a call had come from the PMO and the official wanted to watch the film (Chori Chori Chupke Chupke) on the 15th evening. Rizvi said it was the “PA” of the officer who had called him and that the screening was supposed to take place in a theatre in Delhi. Shakeel agreed and appeared happy with the developments.

But the Opposition, which wants Bhujbal to resign, said it would not allow functioning of the House unless Bhujbal apologised for levelling charges against the PMO.

The deputy chief minister said the question of apology did not arise as he read out the taped conversation to prove that neither he nor the government was sheltering the underworld.

Bhujbal added that he was not levelling any charge against Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee or Union home minister L.K. Advani.

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