I withdrew case after Pawar's approval: Bhujbal

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Mumbai, Oct 3 (UNI) Maharashtra PWD Minister Chhagan Bhujbal today said he withdrew the defamation case against Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray after getting an approval from NCP supremo Sharad Pawar.

Talking to reporters at Mantralaya here, he said he had received a letter from publisher and executive editor of Shiv Sena's mouthpiece 'Saamna' Subhash Desai and Sanjay Raut respectively requesting for the withdrawal of the case. In the letter, they cited the reason of old age and health grounds of Mr Thackeray. They wrote this letter on August five this year.

He said he spoke to Mr Pawar, who told him that in politics personal vendetta should not be maintained and said looking at the age of Mr Thackeray the case could be withdrawn, and he followed his advice.

''There is no politics behind this move and the withdrawl is totally on humanitarian grounds,'' he said.

It may be recalled that Mr Bhujbal had filed a defamation suit against one Rajendra Agarwal, who had filed an affidavit stating that Mr Bhujbal was responsible for the defacing of a statue of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar at Ramabai Ambedkar Nagar, Ghatkopar, an eastern suburb. The incident led to some violence in the area and in the subsequent police firing, 10 people were killed on July 11, 1997.

Mr Bhujbal had also filed cases against Mr Thackeray, Mr Raut and Mr Desai for a report against him in the 'Saamna', based on Mr Agarwal's affidavit.

UNI XR/JM SSS SY BST2141

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