I am bewildered: Jaswant

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AMID CONTROVERSY: BJP leader Jaswant Singh releases his book in New Delhi on Thursday.
AMID CONTROVERSY: BJP leader Jaswant Singh releases his book in New Delhi on Thursday.

Staff Reporter

Says sensationalism is not the purpose of his book

NEW DELHI: Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Jaswant Singh on Thursday said he was bewildered by the controversy generated by his book, A Call To Honour - In Service of Emergent India.

"I never meant to sensationalise anything [through his book]. Sensationalism is not the purpose of the book. All this now disappoint me," he said at the preview of his book here.

"The book is neither a biography nor an analysis. I had written whatever was going inside me for years. The book consists of various chapters that stand out and covers various topics." On Partition, Mr. Singh said: "Peace left us when brothers [Hindus and Muslims] separated and India and Pakistan were created."

In the book, which sold 20,000 copies in the first five days after its launch, he said he had also talked about India's nuclear tests and the world reaction to it.

Mr. Singh said Delhi was the ultimate "Mayanagri." "Whoever comes to Delhi thinks he owns it but this city never belongs to anyone."

Referring to the United States as a "natural ally," a term used by the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance Government, he said it was so because both were sovereign nations.

The book's preview was followed by a panel discussion on "A call to honour - are we up to it?" Eminent personalities, including the former Reserve Bank of India Governor, Bimal Jalan, journalist Mark Tully, the former Ambassador to the U.S., Naresh Chandra, and research professor in the Centre for Policy Research Bharat Karnad, took part.

PTI reports: Mr. Singh said he sought an appointment with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh two days ago and felt no need to give a reminder.

Asked about reports that the Prime Minister had declined to meet him, he said he was not aware of any such thing. "I don't see why he does not want to meet me. I have a functional responsibility in the House and in the political system."

Show courage, Dasmunsi tells Jaswant

The Government on Thursday said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh would meet Mr. Jaswant Singh whenever he would have time and that the Leader of the Opposition should show courage by naming the `mole' in the PMO during the Narasimha Rao regime publicly.

``The Prime Minister has shown courage by straightaway saying Mr. Jaswant Singh should name the mole. Now he should show courage,'' Parliamentary Affairs Minister Priyaranjan Dasmunsi told reporters.

To a query over demands that a criminal case be filed against Mr. Jaswant Singh for failing to inform the authorities about the mole for such a long period, he said ``we do not want to club him with Bangaru Lakshman.''

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