New Delhi: Reflecting a change in BJP`s
attitude, top party leader L K Advani was tonight present at a
function where Jaswant Singh released the paper-back edition
of his controversial book on Pakistan founder Mohd Ali Jinnah.
The occasion was the 75th anniversary celebrations of the
publication group `Rupa` here where the paper-back edition of
Advani`s autobiography `My Country, My Life` was also
Two days after his controversial book `Jinnah: India,
Partition, Independence` was launched in the capital, Singh
was expelled from BJP for his views on the Pakistan founder.
No senior BJP leaders had at that time attended the
function. Advani was in Chandigarh while leaders who were in
Delhi were conspicuous by their absence while George Fernandez
was prominent among those present.
Advani too had to step down as BJP chief in the wake of
his remarks praising Jinnah during a tour of Pakistan.
After his expulsion and party-ruled Gujarat banning his
book which praised Jinnah, Jaswant had termed BJP as
"narrow-minded" party with "limited thought".
However, Singh was readmitted to the party this year.
It was a study in contrast tonight as Singh sat beside
Advani at the function -- a seminar on future of boooks --
which was also attended by writer-minister M Veerappa Moily,
Gulzar, Ruskin Bond, Mark Tully, M J Akbar and Chetan Bhagat.
Incidentally, Akbar and Tully were present last time.
Singh`s praise of Jinnah and not-so-sympathetic view
of the first Home Minister Sardar Vallabhai Patel, whom BJP
considers as an iconic figure, with regard to the Partition of
India and Pakistan had irked his party.
In the book, Singh claimed that former Prime Minister
Jawaharlal Nehru`s centralised policy was responsible for the
Partition and that Jinnah was portrayed as a demon by India