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Furore over Jaswant?s book

Congress has dared the BJP to expel Jaswant, if it feels the contents of his book are untrue, reports Anil Anand.

india Updated: Jul 18, 2006 04:22 IST
Anil Anand

The revelations made by former external affairs minister Jaswant Singh in his autobiography on the Kandahar hijacking case has stirred a political storm.

At the heart of the controversy is a reference in the book to terrorists having demanded Rs 900 crore ransom to free the passengers.

The book allegedly also goes on to claim that a red bag containing explosives was retrieved from the aircraft at Kandahar and handed over to the dreaded terrorists --  both charges have led the Congress to launch a no-holds barred attack against the BJP.

The party has demanded a thorough probe into the incidents related to Singh escorting terrorists to Kandahar to secure release of the hijacked IA aircraft's passengers.

The party has dared the safffron outfit to expel Jaswant, if it feels the contents of the book are untrue.

If there is no action against him, the Congress said, it would be an admission of the book’s veracity, Congress spokesperson Satyavrat Chaturvedi. “If Jaswant's account in the book is true, the BJP should apologise to the nation.”

“The fact that Jaswant has only stated that the terrorists had demanded ransom and chose to remain silent on whether the amount was paid or not, raises serious doubts in people’s mind,” Chaturvedi said. “The disclosures have brought out the BJP’s true colours.”

Seeking to turn the tables on the BJP leaders accusing the UPA government of surrendering before the terrorists, the Congress spokesperson said the fact that the NDA Foreign Minister had escorted the terrorists on an official plane to Kandahar was “shameful”.

Taking the fight to the rival camp, the Congress also rejected senior BJP leader LK Advani’s oft-repeated charge about growth in terrorist activities in the absence of POTA.