Bengaluru: In what comes as an embarrassment for the Congress party, a picture of former PM Indira Gandhi meeting underworld don Karim Lala has gone viral. 

As per reports, the picture dates back to 1973, notably years before Indira Gandhi imposed Emergency. Former actor and politician Harindranath Chattopadhyay, who was a family friend of the Gandhis, is also seen in the picture. 

It might be recalled that Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut had made a statement that put the Congress in a spot of bother. 

"They (underworld) used to decide who will be Mumbai's police commissioner and who will sit in Mantralaya (state secretariat). When (underworld don) Haji Mastan came to Mantralaya, the entire secretariat would come down to see him. Indira Gandhi used to meet Karim Lala in Pydhonie (in south Mumbai)," he had said.

Taking umbrage at what Raut had said, former Mumbai Congress chief Sanjay Nirupam, tweeted that "Sena's poet should stick to entertaining Maharashtra". Not just Nirupam, even Congress leaders Milind Deora and Abhishek Manu Singhvi slammed Raut for his "deplorable comments" asking him to "withdraw his ill-informed statement" against Indira Gandhi. 

As the pressure by the Congress mounted, Raut retracted his statements. 

He said, "Our friends in Congress need not be offended by this. I have defended Indira Gandhi many times when she was attacked while Congress kept mute. If someone thinks that my statement would dent the stature of Indira Ji or hurt the sentiment of someone, then I retract my statement.” 

After the Shiva Sena ditched the BJP post Maharashtra election results, the Shiva Sena joined hands with the Congress and NCP to form a coalition government. 

Though Uddhav Thackeray continues to remain the CM, the Congress has issued several hurtful statements against Veer Savarkar, the Hindutva mascot. 

But the CM has remained mum, with only the urge to stick to the chair dictating terms.