The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Praveen vents cash grouse

Mumbai, April 24: Praveen Mahajan has stuck to his statement that he shot at Pramod in a fit of rage, but added a financial motive to the earlier one of humiliation at his brother’s hands.

Praveen reportedly said he had been “boiling with anger” for the past month because, despite being the brother of an influential politician, he was living an obscure life. This, he said, was thanks to Pramod’s refusal to help him with money or let him use his position as the BJP leader’s brother to gain financially.

“They call Pramod the Rs 2,000-crore man, but what did I gain'” the building contractor told his interrogators. “What’s wrong if I expect my brother to help me' Even his personal staff is minting money using Pramod’s name.”

Pramod, who is on life support and continued to be critical today, was put on dialysis at Hinduja hospital, which said there has been no change in the patient’s condition.

Asked at 8 pm if his condition was improving, hospital spokesperson Anupam Verma replied: “We can’t say that.”

But Pramod’s son Rahul and brother-in-law Gopinath Munde claimed there had been some improvement since Sunday evening’s surgery.

Police sources said that during a second round of questioning, Praveen echoed what he had told interrogators on Saturday after his surrender at Worli police station following the morning shooting.

Praveen is believed to have said he was carrying his gun because he meant to lay it at Pramod’s feet. But when the BJP leader chose to ignore him and bury himself in his newspaper, something snapped inside him and he pulled the trigger.

Praveen said he had been looking to confront Pramod for some time but couldn’t get an appointment. He learnt from newspapers that the BJP leader would be in Mumbai to inaugurate the Nahur railway station and decided to catch his brother early in the morning. Pramod had returned to Mumbai on Thursday night and inaugurated the railway station on Friday.

Mangesh, a domestic help at Pramod’s home, told the police he didn’t know what happened before the shooting. The police could not record the statement of Pramod’s wife Rekha, who continued to be at the hospital.

Mangesh and Rekha were the only persons besides Praveen and Pramod inside the flat during the attack, but it is believed neither was in the room when the younger brother pulled the trigger. A friend corroborated what Praveen’s wife Sarangi had told the police: that her husband had seemed “depressed” but wouldn’t explain what bothered him.

“There was some tiff between the brothers in the last few days. In hindsight, I feel Praveen was a bit disturbed over that,” Mohan Tiwari said.

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