HindustanTimes Fri,19 Sep 2014

Key NDA allies not in favour of banning Jaswant's book

Khalid Akhter, IANS  New Delhi, August 22, 2009
First Published: 20:23 IST(22/8/2009) | Last Updated: 21:28 IST(22/8/2009)

Jaswant Singh's book that got him expelled from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is now creating fissures in the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA), with many key allies opposing the idea of banning the book.

BJP-ruled Gujarat has already banned the book "Jinnah - India, Partition, Independence", which says that Pakistan founder Mohammad Ali Jinnah has been demonised in India and holds country's first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru and home minister Sardar Vallabhai Patel also responsible for the partition.

The Gujarat government led by Narendra Modi banned the book for being critical of Patel's role during partition.

"I do not support the ban. Banning a book does not help," Shiv Sena MP Bharat Kumar Raut told IANS.

Jaswant Singh, who has held defence, finance and external affairs portfolios in BJP-led governments, was expelled from the party Aug 19.

Raut said: "If you want to contest the content of a book then it should be done either through writing or on various other forums."

Janata Dal-United (JD-U) MP Monazir Hassan also said that in a democracy everyone has a right to express his views.

"I am not in favour of banning the book. It is not justified, in a democracy every one has a right to express his views," Hassan told IANS.

The BJP leadership has left it to the respective governments in the BJP ruled states to decide whether to ban the book or not.

"It depends on the state whether to ban the book or not. It is their right to decide," party spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said when asked if the party would like the book to be banned in BJP-ruled states.

Among these states, Karnataka has already declared it will not ban the book, while the Madhya Pradesh government was SDaturday reported to be of the also of the view that the book should not be banned.

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