Describing the expulsion of Jaswant Singh as a “painful but necessary” decision, senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader L.K. Advani on Friday explained his criticism of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, saying the first Home Minister had banned the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) at Jawaharlal Nehru’s behest.

“It is mentally painful to expel somebody who has been with you for the past 30 years, but what he [Jaswant Singh] wrote was against the basic ideology of the party,” he said in his valedictory address at the concluding day of the three-day ‘Chintan Baithak’ here.

In his first comments on the party’s decision taken on Monday, he told the BJP leaders at the conclave that the expulsion of the Darjeeling MP was a “painful but necessary” action.

Referring to Mr. Singh’s statement of Sardar Patel having banned the RSS, Mr. Advani said that it was at Nehru’s behest that he had banned the faction.

“One month later, Sardar Patel wrote a letter to Pandit Nehru saying that there is not an iota of evidence against the RSS. Jaswant is saying only half of what had happened and not the other half,” Mr. Advani was quoted as saying by Sushma Swaraj.

Mr. Advani also said that Sardar Patel’s task of unifying more than 700 princely states was a “superhuman effort and a spectacular achievement.”

“It was not possible by an ordinary person. Jaswant Singh tried to denigrate Patel,” he added.

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