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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.

New Delhi: 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 allotted to BJP is occupied by Leader of
the Opposition Sushma Swaraj, its Parliamentary Party chairman
L K 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.


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