Hanuman to Ravana: Jaswant regrets his expulsion

Hanuman to Ravana: Jaswant regrets his expulsion

Hanuman to Ravana: Jaswant regrets his expulsion

Jaswant Singh

Saying that he was "sad and regretful", the 71-year-old former union minister, who has held the portfolios of defence, finance and external affairs, said he got a phone call at 1 p.m. from Rajnath Singh informing him that he had been expelled from the "basic membership of the party".

"It is sad and I regret it for a number of reasons, which I cannot explain in detail," Jaswant Singh said in the Himachal Pradesh capital where the BJP began its three-day  introspection meeting on Wednesday.

The expulsion comes two days after the release of his controversial book praising  Pakistan founder Mohammed Ali Jinnah, "Jinnah: India, Partition, Independence".

He referred to a cartoon in India Today magazine that had portrayed him as Hanuman and said he had now become the Ravana of the BJP.

"I have been a member of the BJP since it was formed (in 1980)," he said.

"I had never imagined that 30 years of my service would have ended this way. It's regretful," the visibly emotional Jaswant Singh added.

He said he also “regretted” that the party president informed him about the decision over the phone and not personally.

“I would have stepped down had they informed me in person,” he said.

"I am worried and sad that just one book has led to my expulsion," he added, wondering what would happen if "soch, vichar and chintan" (thinking and introspection) stopped in Indian politics.

He, however, said he didn't regret writing the book.

"They (BJP leaders) have not even read it completely."

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