Not sure if he was Netaji, says Sunil Shastri on Subhas Chandra photo

Hyderabad, Dec. 13 : Amid controversy that broke out following the publication of a photograph of former prime minister Lal Bahadur Shastri with a person ‘resembling’ to freedom fighter Subhas Chandra Bose in Tashkent (now Capital of Uzbekistan), Sunil Shastri, son of the former prime minister, on Sunday said he was not very sure whether he was Netaji or not.

“As far as Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose’s photograph is concerned, I am not very sure whether he was Netaji or not,” he said.

“But, some people from London, who have gone in for check up and all that, said that very strong support in this regard has been found out and he was Netaji only,” he added.

“Shastri ji had gone to sign the peace agreement with Pakistan in Tashkent, which was organised by USSR premier Alexei Kosygin. From Pakistan side President Muhammad Ayub Khan and Foreign Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, and from Indian side my father, defence minister Y.B. Chavan and foreign minister Sardar Swaran Singh participated in the meeting that held for 4-5 days, and ultimately the Tashkent declaration was signed,” he recounted.

“Before flying to USSR, my father had told my mother and brother that after his return he would talk a lot with the people of India about the accord, which he hoped they would believe, he added.

“But, unfortunately, Shastri ji did not return back alive, so neither I nor can my family tell you that what exactly had happened,” said Sunil Shastri, urging the government to declassify all documents related to Shastri ji as well so that a complete picture could emerge. (ANI)