Barely three weeks before the third death anniversary of the late Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Pramod Mahajan, his brother Pravin, undergoing a life-term for killing him, has come out with a tell-all book.
The book entitled My Album, around 175 pages, will be published in Marathi and English soon. A brief 15-page extract of the book is available with IANS.
In the book, which Pravin said was inspired within the confines of the prison walls where he is currently lodged, he has dwelt 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.
In a statement to IANS, Pravin's wife Sarangi said: "This book should be treated as an ordinary book. It doesn't include any of the court statements which were in-camera."
However, Sarangi made it clear on 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.
"It is not directed against any individual, party or group and should not be construed as such," she declared.
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.
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.
Pravin said that in 1984, during the Lok Sabha elections, Pramod declared that politics was his "mission" not "profession". "Then, when did he slip?" the younger brother 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.
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 (another brother) and Pratima Mahajan (their sister) have to say about this?"
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, Pravin said.
On April 22, 2006, Pravin had gone to Pramod's house in Worli and pumped several bullets into his abdomen. After an unsuccessful battle for survival, Pramod passed away on May 3 that year, leaving a void in the BJP.
After a trial by the court, Pravin was sentenced to life imprisonment and is currently in jail.
He has said in the introduction to the book that he could picture his entire life like a "documentary film" compelling him to put it down on paper.