GJM reacts nervously

Jaswant Singh holds his book ‘Jinnah: India, Partition, Independence’ during its release function in New Delhi on Monday. PTI“The Bharatiya Janata Party has extended its support to the statehood movement in Darjeeling and we hope the latest development will not affect the movement and pace in achieving our goal,” GJM spokesman Dr Harka Bahadur Chettri told Deccan Herald here over telephone from Darjeeling. “We can’t comment on the internal affairs of the BJP.”
The GJM’s reaction came after the BJP on Wednesday announced the sacking of the former external affairs minister for his controversial book in which he had said Pakistan’s founder Mohammad Ali Jinnah was not responsible for the country’s partition.

Asked how the GJM would carry forward its movement in the absence of a key BJP leader at the national level, Chettri said, “Singh will now find enough time for his constituency and exert his political influence on other parties for realisation of the statehood.”

But, will it not lack the required sharpness and weight, especially when a high-level tripartite meeting is scheduled in Darjeeling in December next, that could be a watershed in the movement? “We’re in the process of deliberating the points,” he maintained. In the last general election, Singh won the Darjeeling Lok Sabha seat as a BJP candidate after the GJM supported his candidature.

According to Chettri, Singh won by popular support of the GJM after the BJP nominated him to the seat. “Any other candidate would have won the seat by our support. Therefore, the expulsion will not at all affect the statehood movement in Darjeeling,” he asserted.

However, even though Chettri tried to put up a brave face, people in the hills are tight-lipped and a section of the GJM has been keeping the fingers crossed, as the development will definitely be a setback for the hill outfit. The GJM has now  been campaigning across the hills telling the people of the outcome of the tripartite meeting held in New Delhi last week.

DH News Service

‘It was an open and shut case’

The expulsion of senior BJP leader Jaswant from the party on Wednesday was due to an “open and shut” case that had nothing to do with the power struggle within the party,  said BJP and RSS leaders, IANS reports from New Delhi.

A senior BJP leader said: “It was an open and shut case. There was general consensus on this issue within the party that if Jaswant goes ahead with his book, he will have to go.

“The RSS had made no direct reference to this book but indications were given to the BJP top leadership that they would have to act on the issue.”

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