Mumbai, March 20: Deputy chief minister Chhagan Bhujbal today rendered an apology in the Assembly over dragging the name of the Prime Ministerís Office into the Chhota Shakeel tapes controversy.
Bhujbal said he did not intend to hurt the feelings of either the Prime Minister or his office. He made the statement after the Oppositionís vociferous protests stalled proceedings of the House six times.
The minister said that if references made in his speech had hurt the feelings of the Prime Minister or his office, he would apologise.
The Shiv Sena-BJP Opposition had charged the deputy chief minister with sheltering the underworld. In retaliation, Bhujbal yesterday read out from the transcripts of the tapes where Shakeel was allegedly speaking with film producer Naseem Rizvi.
According to the tapes, Razvi says an official from the PMO wants a private screening of the film, Chori Chori Chupke Chupke, and is in touch with him. Shakeel comes across as approving of the plan.
Bhujbal also read out a section where Rizvi allegedly sought the help of the PMO in the transfer of three Mumbai police officials.
Bhujbal today said that during times of war, it is not wise to cast aspersions on the PMO. He pointed out that even in his speech last evening, he had made it clear that he had the highest regard for Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and deputy Prime Minister L.K. Advani.