Dalit leader Prakash Ambedkar Tuesday targeted NCP president Sharad Pawar, demanding to know why underworld don Dawood Ibrahim's proposal to surrender to the Indian authorities in 1990s was ignored.
At the time, Mr Pawar was the chief minister of Maharashtra.
Addressing a press conference, Mr Ambedkar said Dawood had met senior lawyer Ram Jethmalani in London and expressed his willingness to surrender to the authorities and face the law in India.
The only condition put forward by Dawood, a key accused in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts, was that he should not be subjected to third degree (torture) post surrender, said Mr Ambedkar, who heads the Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi (VBA).
Ram Jethamalani had met Mr Pawar and apprised him of Dawood's willingness to surrender, Mr Ambedkar said.
The Maratha strongman ignored the proposal and said the then Congress-led government was with him in this decision, he said.
"When this proposal became public in 2015, Narendra Modi was the prime minister. Why didn't Modi pursue the matter and bring Dawood back in India. Earlier, why didn't Pawar inform details of the proposal. Dawood was ready to face trial and Jethamalani had informed Pawar about this," he said.
Meanwhile, NCP spokesman Nawab Malik hit back at Mr Ambedkar, saying the issue of Dawood's surrender is being raised now to help the BJP in the upcoming polls.
Mr Pawar has already made it clear that an accused cannot dictate the terms of his surrender. The terms and conditions of his surrender were not acceptable to the then government, Mr Malik said.
"Why didn't Jethmalani, who later became a Union minister, inform the Interpol about his meeting with Dawood. Why didn't the BJP governments in Maharashtra and at the centre make Dawood surrender?" he asked.
Get the latest election news, live updates and election schedule for Lok Sabha Elections 2019 on ndtv.com/elections. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter and Instagram for updates from each of the 543 parliamentary seats for the 2019 Indian general elections.