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Pratibha Patil's brother accused of murder
June 22, 2007 18:26 IST
A day ahead of her filing nomination for the presidential election, UPA-Left candidate Pratibha Patil was on Friday accused by a woman from Maharashtra of protecting her brother, who she said had a hand in the murder of her husband two years ago, a charge strongly dismissed by the Congress.
Rajani Patil, widow of slain Jalgaon District Congress Committee president V G Patil, held a press conference at the residence of Shiromani Akali Dal leader Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, which was organised by Sudheendra Kulkarni, close to BJP leaders A B Vajpayee and L K Advani.
At the press conference, Rajani Patil, a professor of Marathi in a Jalgaon college, alleged that supporters of G N Patil, brother of Pratibha Patil, had murdered her husband in 2005 after he had narrowly lost the DCC poll. She alleged that G N Patil and another Congress leader were the conspirators in the crime.
She released copies of a memorandum she had sent to President A P J Abdul Kalam on Thursday in which she accused the former Rajasthan governor of trying to influence the investigation to protect her brother. Rajni Patil wanted the CBI to investigate this angle.
The Congress dismissed the allegations as completely baseless and totally untrue and accused political rivals of creating allegations since they do not have a candidate of Pratibha Patil's stature.
"The Congress strongly condemns the allegations and demands that the decorum of the presidential election maintained," party spokesperson Jayanthi Natarajan said. "The presidential candidate has absolutely no connection with the allegations," she added.
Sources close to Pratibha Patil said she would not comment on the allegations.