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Jaswant entrusted with task of improving ties with parties

Last Updated: Monday, January 3, 2011 - 15:02

New Delhi: Six months after his expulsion
was revoked and he returned to the party-fold, senior BJP
leader Jaswant Singh was on Monday entrusted with the task of
improving relations with other political parties and winning
new allies.

"BJP national president Nitin Gadkari has entrusted
the task of maintaining continuous contact and
relation-building with all political parties to Jaswant Singh,
MP," the party said in a statement.

Singh had not been given any major responsibility
after his return to the BJP on June 24, 2010. Senior party
leader LK Advani had said he was happy with Singh`s comeback
and it had brought a "sense of relief" to him.

After the recent spectacular victory in Bihar polls,
BJP decided to win over more allies and bring them to the NDA
fold, and also further strengthen ties with the present
alliance partners. Jaswant Singh`s role would be work in this

Today`s decision is also an indicator that Gadkari,
who had mooted the plan of bringing back prominent leaders
like Jaswant Singh and Uma Bharti, also wants to reinstate
them with more responsibilities.

The senior BJP leader, a close associate of Atal
Bihari Vajpayee, was summarily expelled from BJP at the Shimla
Chintan Baithak in August 2009 for his controversial book
which praised Pakistan-founder MA Jinnah and held Jawaharlal
Nehru and Sardar Patel responsible for partition.

Singh, a former External Affairs Minister, is known
for his persuasive skills which can prove useful in taking
along all allies and convince more parties to join NDA ahead
of the 2014 general elections.

At present, NDA has only four parties - BJP, JD(U),
Shiromani Akali Dal and Shiv Sena. JMM as a partner is
confined only to Jharkhand. BJP has renewed contacts with Om
Prakash Chautala`s INLD, Asom Gana Parishad, AIADMK, TRS and
TDP, among others.

Party sources said BJP was not happy with the efforts
of JD(U) president and NDA convener Sharad Yadav, who was
entrusted with the responsibility of winning new allies ahead
of the December 22 rally here against corruption. Only four
allies took part while the others kept away.


First Published: Monday, January 3, 2011 - 15:02

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