Senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader L.K. Advani said on Monday that he had not been in favour of Jaswant Singh’s expulsion, contradicting the party’s assertion that he was part of the decision.
“These reports are correct that I was not in agreement with the decision to expel Jaswant Singh,” he told PTI-Bhasha about the decision of the party’s Parliamentary Board on August 19 in Shimla. He, however, refused to elaborate saying, “I am not interested in any further controversy.”
The statement runs contrary to the assertion by the BJP that Mr. Advani was party to the decision to expel the Darjeeling MP for eulogising Pakistan founder M.A. Jinnah and denigrating Sardar Patel.
Senior BJP leader Sushma Swaraj, while briefing reporters on the deliberations of the BJP’s ‘Chintan Baithak’ in Shimla, had said on August 21 that Mr. Advani described the decision to expel Jaswant as “painful but necessary.”
“It is mentally painful to expel somebody who has been with you for the past 30 years. But what he wrote was against the basic ideology of the party,” Ms. Swaraj, considered close to Mr. Advani, quoted him as telling the BJP meet.
BJP president Rajnath Singh, while announcing the Parliamentary Board’s decision to expel Jaswant Singh, had said: “I had issued a statement yesterday [August 18] that the party fully dissociates itself from the contents of the book. Today I put up the matter before the Parliamentary Board which decided to end his primary membership.”