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`Advani opposed action against Modi on riots`

Jaswant Singh has claimed that LK Advani opposed action against Narendra Modi over the Gujarat riots.

New Delhi: Firing a fresh salvo at LK
Advani, expelled BJP leader Jaswant Singh has claimed that the
former home minister stopped Atal Bihari Vajpayee from taking
action against Narendra Modi over the 2002 riots on the ground
that it could trigger uproar in the party.

Singh said he alongwith Vajpayee, Advani and Arun
Shourie were flying to Goa for a BJP meeting when the
conversation relating to the Gujarat Chief Minister cropped

"He (Vajpayee) asked, Gujarat ka kya karna hai (what
should be done about Gujarat ?...there was silence for
sometime. He then said Gujarat ke bare mein sochna chahiye.
Then Advaniji went towards the bathroom...Atalji said
poochhiye fir kya karna hai (ask him then what should be done)?

"I went and asked Advaniji. Advaniji just said one
phrase - bawaal khada ho jayega party mein (there will be uproar
in the party," Singh said.

Singh, who held the key portfolios of Finance and
External Affairs in the Vajpayee government, recalled a day when
he was called from the House by Pramod Mahajan to the PM`s
office in Parliament.

"Come quickly Jaswantji", he told me. "I didn`t know
what had happened... When I went, I was told "sambhaliye,
sambhaliye (control the situation). Istifa de rahein hain (he
is giving his resignation).

Prime Minister Vajpayee was "disturbed" and wrote down
his resignation letter in his Parliamentary office.
"Parliament was in session," Singh said in an interview to a news channel.

Vajpayee called his Secretary. "I told his Secretary to
go away and not come back. He (Vajpayee) sternly asked me
kya kar rahe ho (what are you doing)".

"He (Vajpayee) pulled a piece of paper and he started
writing his resignation by hand. I held his hand and he looked
at me severely and I said what are you doing. Don`t do this.
He said leave it and somehow I persuaded him. We went to his
house. We were able to defuse the situation," Singh said.

Asked whether Vajpayee was inclined to act against
Modi, Singh said, "factually to the best of my recollection,
yes, this was the conversation.

Pressed further on whether Vajpayee was inclined to
sack Modi, Singh said, "I would not use the word `sack`. But
certainly he wanted the party to reflect and take some corrective

Singh had sought to embarrass Advani yesterday by
saying that the then Home Minister was well aware of his
accompanying three terrorists to resolve the Kandahar hijack

Advani had then claimed that he was against the
decision to free terrorists in return of the passengers of the
hijacked flight IC-814 in 1999 and went on say that he had
nothing to do with the decision to send Singh with the

Bureau Report

From Zee News

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