Jaswant Singh confined to backbench for now
Jaswant Singh will have to be content being a backbencher in the Lok Sabha despite his return to the BJP.delhi Updated: Jul 15, 2010 16:55 IST
Jaswant Singh will have to be content being a backbencher in the Lok Sabha despite his return to the BJP.
"We have still not received any request from the BJP seeking a change of seat for Singh," Parliament sources said ahead of the Monsoon session which begins on July 26.
After his expulsion from BJP in August last year, the 72-year old leader was forced to go to the third row in the Lok Sabha from his front row seat in the opposition ranks.
Singh, who was the Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha till the last general elections, was given seat number 371 in the fifth block, accommodating members from small parties.
That seat was allocated to Singh by Speaker Meira Kumar ahead of the Winter session of Parliament in November last year when he was also chairman of the prestigious Public Accounts Committee.
On June 24, Singh rejoined the party nine months after he was summarily thrown out for praising Pakistan founder Mohammed Ali Jinnah in his book "Jinnah - India, Partition, Independence".
While holding Jawaharlal Nehru and Sardar Patel responsible for partition, Singh maintained that Jinnah was secular, a position that was unacceptable to the Sangh Parivar. Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi had banned Singh's book in his state.
BJP will now have to make a seat available on its benches to Singh in keeping with his seniority.
The front row alloted to BJP is occupied by Leader of the Opposition Sushma Swaraj, its Parliamentary Party chairman LK Advani, former party chiefs Rajnath Singh, Murli Manohar Joshi and BJP Deputy Leader in the Lok Sabha Gopinath Munde.
Singh might have to go to the second row which has party leaders like Ananth Kumar, Shatrughan Sinha, Harin Pathak and Shahnawaz Hussain.