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Wednesday, Nov 20, 2019

I was misunderstood on Jinnah: Advani

Advani denied that he resigned as BJP president under pressure from RSS in the wake of the Jinnah controversy.

india Updated: Jan 01, 2006 12:21 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India

Former BJP President LK Advani on Saturday stuck to his controversial remarks on Mohammed Ali Jinnah, saying if what he had said was "followed in letter and spirit," it would help normalise India's relations with Pakistan and Bangladesh.

Denying that he resigned as BJP president under pressure from RSS in the wake of the Jinnah controversy, he told reporters in Mumbai, "I am disappointed with myself for not being able to properly convey my sentiments."

"My remarks have been taken out of context," he said adding, "if what I said was followed in letter and spirit, it would help normalise relations with Pakistan and Bangladesh."

"I had only said one thing about Jinnah. When I was invited to inaugurate the restoration of the Katas Raj temple, I was reminded of what Jinnah had said on August 11, 1947 to the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan.

"He (Jinnah) said now that Pakistan has been created, one should not see who is a Hindu or Muslim. Let Hindus go to temples and Muslims to mosques. In the eyes of the Pakistan Government, all are equal citizens. I had only reminded them. I had quoted exactly what Jinnah had told the Constituent Assembly and that created all this (controversy). It created on all sides", Advani told a news conference in Mumbai.

"In Pakistan, describing anyone secular is a slur. In India, calling anyone secular becomes a distortion of history," Advani said in reply to a query after demitting the office of BJP President.

"I had assumed responsibility as party president in the interlude due to Venkaiah Naidu's family problems and I have stepped down today as per my declaration at the Chennai meeting", he said.