In his first verbal exchange with L K Advani since his expulsion from BJP in August, Jaswant Singh on Monday sought to reach out to his “former colleague” for his cause of separate Gorkhaland state and found him on the same page.

Mr. Singh, while raising in the Lok Sabha the issue of Gorkha agitation, was requesting the House to issue an appeal to Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) to withdraw its four-day strike that started today and join talks on December 21.

After appealing to the Leader of the House Pranab Mukherjee, Mr. Singh turned to Leader of Opposition L K Advani and said, “my former colleague with whom I have had the pleasure of sitting with for four decades” while asking him to join such an appeal.

Mr. Singh reminded Mr. Advani about the mention of separate Gorkhaland in BJP’s manifesto.

Responding to it, Mr. Advani said since his name had been mentioned by “my colleague” in the context of the manifesto, he would say that a Gorkha delegation would be meeting him.

This was the first exchange between Mr. Advani and Mr. Singh, who was expelled on August 19 for writing a book “Jinnah -- India, Partition, Independence” which eulogises Pakistan founder Mohd Ali Jinnah and denigrated Sardar Patel.

The decision was taken at BJP’s Parliamentary Board meeting in Shimla in which Advani was present.

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