New Delhi: Rejoining the BJO nine months after he was unceremoniously thrown out for writing a controversial book on Pakistan founder Mohammed Ali Jinnah, veteran leader Jaswant Singh on Thursday said his “hurt and humiliation had been addressed by LK Advani.”
At a function organised to announce his re-induction into
the party fold, 72-year-old Singh profusely thanked senior BJP
leader L K Advani for taking the initiative to bring him back
to the BJP of which he was a founder member.
"It is good to be back in familiar surroundings... I wish
to unreservedly express my gratitude to Advaniji who took the
initiative," Singh said. Among others present were party
President Nitin Gadkari and Leader of the Opposition in Lok
Sabha Sushma Swaraj.
Recalling his expulsion from the party at its `Chintan
Baithak` in Shimla in August last year, the MP from Darjeeling
said, "I was hurt and humiliated by what I had encountered."
Jaswant said facts about Jinnah could not be wished away. “Even Gokhale and Sarojini Naidu called him an icon of Hindu-Muslim unity,” he said.
Advani said he was "very happy" that Jaswant Singh, whom
he had met as an RSS pracharak in Rajasthan, has rejoined the
"I am very happy. With happiness there is also a sense of
relief. I welcome him," he said.
Gadkari said the "past is past" and hoped that Singh will
work to make the party`s future bright.
He said this was a day of "great happiness" for him and
the party workers.
Singh was expelled from the BJP in August 2009 for
praising the Pakistan founder in his book "Jinnah - India,
Jaswant had gone on to criticise the BJP for its Hindutva links. Today also, he maintained his position.
“BJP would benefit by greater clarity on Hinduism,” he told a TV channel, adding that Hindutva was a recent entry into the BJP lexicon. He also said that the Kandahar issue was closed between him and Advani.
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.
After his expulsion, BJP also asked Singh to step down
from the Chairmanship of Parliamentary Public Accounts
Committee but he refused. He gave up the post in December last