Delhi-based businessman and BJP member Sudhanshu Mittal was always seen as a fixture in the world of Pramod Mahajan. He's the infamous 'tentwallah' referred to in several newspaper columns. He too was called in the night tragedy struck 7, Safdarjung Road, and he advised that Vivek and Rahul be rushed to Apollo Hospital. In an interview to Outlook, he says he's not a Mahajan creation. Excerpts:
Vivek Moitra was said to be complaining about you not returning money parked by Pramod Mahajan after his death.
Sick minds are spreading such stories. I had no problem with Vivek and there was no financial dispute.
But it is widely believed that as the BJP's main fund-raiser, Pramod parked money through you.
It's a mistake to see Pramod as a fund-raiser. Venkaiah Naidu raised money for the 2004 Lok Sabha elections, not Pramod. If Pramod lived the good life he did, it was because such a lifestyle came free to him. After he established himself in politics, he never had to pay for anything. It was all free.
You are referred to as the tentwallah and a procurer for Mahajan.
The journalists who are saying such things have personal grouses. Yes, it is true that my family owns the largest tenthouse business in Delhi. But I am a complete political animal and have been in politics since 1981 when Pramod was no one. Pramod Mahajan did not create Sudhanshu Mittal. I was driving a Mercedes Benz when he had nothing. With or without Pramod, I have always been a rich man. Who was Pramod Mahajan to create me when he arrived in Delhi?
Are you disowning him now?
No. Pramod and I were part of each other's schedule when he was alive. But tell me, how could he make me a rich man? He spent nine months in the information and broadcasting ministry, 16 months in communications. In such a short time, could he make me? I am believed to have made money off the Rajasthan assembly campaign. Let me tell you, I went to Rajasthan six months before Mahajan did. He followed me there.
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