Advani Stopped Vajpayee to Act against Modi: Jaswant

Expelled BJP leader Jaswant Singh, training guns on LK Advani, has claimed that the former home minister prevented Atal Bihari Vajpayee from acting against Narendra Modi over the 2002 Gujarat riots alleging that it could lead to uproar in the party.

Jaswant Singh, in a TV programme, said that Prime Minister Vajpayee was “disturbed” and wrote down his resignation letter in his parliamentary office. Parliament was in session.

“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 asked me to leave his hand and I somehow I persuaded him. We went to his house. We were able to defuse the situation,” Singh said.

Jaswant, who held the key portfolios of Finance and External Affairs in the Vajpayee government, said that it was when he along with , Advani and Arun Shourie were flying to Goa for a BJP meeting that a conversation on the Gujarat Chief Minister figured up.

“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.

Jaswant said that he was called on that day from the House by Pramod Mahajan to the PM’s office in Parliament.

“I didn’t know what had happened… When I went,” Jaswant said. ‘‘I was told (by Mahajan) ‘sambhaliye, sambhaliye (control the situation). Istifa de rahein hain (he is giving his resignation).’”

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

In response to a query if Vajpayee was of a mind to act against Modi, Jaswant said, “factually to the best of my recollection, yes, this was the conversation.”

When asked further if Vajpayee was inclined to sack Modi, Singh said, “I would not use the word ‘sack’. But certainly from the party to reflect and take some corrective measure.”

It may be mentioned that Jaswant embarrassed Advani yesterday by alleging that the then home minister was well aware of his accompanying three terrorists to resolve the Kandhar hijack episode.
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 terrorists.

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