Senior BJP leader L K Advani today said he was not 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 in which he was present.
He, however, refused to elaborate saying, "I am not interested in any further controversy." The statement goes contrary to the assertion by BJP that 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 BJP's 'Chintan Baithak' in Shimla, had
said on August 21 that Advani had 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," Swaraj, considered close to Advani, had quoted him as telling the BJP meet.
BJP President Rajnath Singh, while announcing the Parliamentary Board's decision to expel Jaswant, 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."
Recently, former vice-president Bhairon Singh Shekhawat had criticised BJP for expelling Jaswant without reading the book.
Advani is now busy finalising his tour plans for the forthcoming assembly elections in Maharashtra and Haryana. "In October, I will spend 10 days campaigning in these two states," he said, adding that apart from state-related issues, price rise would be a big issue in these polls.
Advani said despite the Lok Sabha defeat, all was not lost for the BJP. "Despite the defeat in the last Lok Sabha elections, we have proved again that Indian politics is bipolar. We are in power in eight states, including two where we share power with allies," he said.
"These responsibilities need accountability too," Advani added.
The Leader of the Opposition informed that he would tour the country to meet party workers and discuss the importance of responsibility with them.
"After assembly elections, I plan to visit different states. I will not address public meetings, but address workers' conferences. I will express my views to workers about responsibility and will listen to the views of office-bearers," he said.