Raj Thackeray dropped a bombshell on Thursday as he claimed that India's most wanted terrorist Dawood Ibrahim is trying to negotiate his return with the central government as "he wants to spend his last days" in his home country.
The Maharashtra politician claimed that the ruling BJP wants to bring the don back to score in elections.
Dawood is "very sick and crippled", said the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief at a function to mark his Facebook debut.
"He is currently in talks for a 'setting' with the government for this and this could happen," he said, commenting that the BJP government would try to take credit for the gangster's return even though he wants to return to India.
"It is he (Dawood) who is keen to return... But, the BJP will claim credit for this to win the next elections," Thackeray predicted.
Last week, reacting to reporters' questions on the news that Dawood Ibrahim's properties in the UK have been seized, union minister VK Singh had commented that "things are happening".
"We will not talk about Dawood at all. Certain things are happening. We can't let the cat be let out of the bag," Singh, the Minister of State for External Affairs, had told reporters in Kerala.
Dawood Ibrahim is the mastermind of the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts in which 257 were killed. India says there is proof he has been living in Pakistan's Karachi for decades, which has been confirmed by the UN.
In more validation of New Delhi's stand that the man it has hunted for over two decades has been sheltered by Pakistan, Britain's list of Financial Sanctions Targets refers to the gangster's three recorded addresses in Karachi.