Jaswant Singh in Shimla but stays away from BJP leaders
Cast into the shadow with his plaudits for Mohammed Ali Jinnah, veteran BJP leader Jaswant Singh is in Shimla for the three-day party meeting beginning today but has largely kept to himself -- checking into a different hotel and staying away from a dinner hosted by LK Advani.india Updated: Aug 19, 2009 13:17 IST
Cast into the shadow with his plaudits for Mohammed Ali Jinnah, veteran BJP leader Jaswant Singh is here for the three-day party meeting beginning on Wednesday but has largely kept to himself -- checking into a different hotel and staying away from a dinner hosted by LK Advani.
The former union minister, who has earned the ire of party leaders for his book "Jinnah - India, Partition, Independence", arrived in Shimla on Tuesday noon for the Bharatiya Janata Party's 'Chintan Baithak' or introspection meeting.
But while all party leaders, including LK Advani, Rajnath Singh and Sushma Swaraj, are staying at the state guest house Peterhoff, Jaswant Singh is at the Oberoi Group's Hotel Cecil.
"We had made arrangements for Jaswant Singh's stay at the state guest house. At the last minute, we came to know that he had booked his room somewhere outside," said a senior party leader.
"After reaching the hotel, he remained cocooned in the hotel. He didn't even attend the dinner hosted by Advani Tuesday night at Peterhoff," the leader added on condition of anonymity as he was not authorised to speak to the media.
On the agenda at the meeting is a discussion on the causes that led to the party's recent defeat in the parliamentary elections and its strategy for the forthcoming assembly elections in Haryana and Maharashtra.
Other issues like the defiance shown by former Rajasthan chief minister Vasundhara Raje after she was asked to quit as leader of opposition could also echo at the session, the leader said.
Over 25 senior party leaders, including members of the BJP parliamentary board and chief ministers Narendra Modi (Gujarat), Raman Singh (Chhattisgarh), Ramesh Pokhriyal (Uttarakhand) and BS Yeddyurappa (Karnataka), are participating in the three-day introspection exercise.