Party colleagues put Advani on the mat on Kandahar

  • IANS, New Delhi
  • |
  • Updated: Aug 28, 2009 11:49 IST

All eyes are on veteran Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader L K Advani, under attack from his colleagues who have contradicted his assertion that he did not know about then external affairs minister Jaswant Singh escorting terrorists to Kandahar to swap them for the IC-814 hostages.

On Thursday, Brajesh Mishra, national security advisor (NSA) during the BJP-led NDA government, as well as senior leader Yashwant Sinha asserted that Advani was aware of the decision to swap terrorists for hostages during the 1999 Indian Airlines hijack.

In a bitter attack on Advani after his expulsion from the BJP last week, Jaswant Singh had revealed that the former home minister's claim that he was unaware of his trip to Kandahar to secure the release of 160 hostages was not true.

Advani had all along claimed that he was not in the know that Jaswant Singh was on the plane with three terrorists to Kandahar.

"If the Cabinet Committee on Security had taken the decision, I would have been answerable, but it did not," Advani had been quoted as saying earlier this year.

As party workers and opposition parties wait for some clarity, BJP national executive member G V L Narasimha Rao said: "On the issue of Kandahar, Advaniji has spoken a number of times and even in his book he has written on this. For the correct situation, it would have been better if the party leaders would not have spoken their view in the media."

Further muddying the waters in the party, which last week expelled Jaswant Singh for his book on Pakistan founder Mohammed Ali Jinnah, former NSA Mishra had held that former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee would have handled the current crisis differently.

Sinha had also said that the sacking of Jaswant Singh was "not correct".

Targeting the BJP leadership, another senior leader Arun Shourie had on Monday created a flutter by calling his party a "kati patang" (a kite adrift).

BJP president Rajnath Singh on Thursday met RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat in New Delhi to discuss and deal with the present party crisis.


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