SP keen to rope in Jaswant

SP keen to rope in Jaswant

BJP crisis: His views on Jinnah are closer to our stand, says Amar

Party general secretary Amar Singh here told newspersons that Jaswant was welcome to join his party.

He had already made the offer to the former BJP leader, “who has so far not revealed his next move.”

The BJP had expelled Jaswant Singh after he praised founder of Pakistan Mohammad Ali Jinnah and allegedly criticised Sardar Patel in his new book “Jinnah: India-Partition-Independence.”

Singh is expected to visit several cities, including Bangalore, Chennai and Kolkata, for the launch of his controversial book. He may also visit Pakistan.

Amar Singh said his party was closer to Jaswant’s views on Jinnah. He also charged the BJP with victimising its leader who has had an association of over 30 years.

Asked to comment on the SP’s tirade against Jaswant in the past over the Kandahar episode involving exchange of terrorists to free hostages, Amar Singh said the new revelations made by the former BJP leader have changed his party’s views towards him.

Jaswant has claimed that he had covered up for the then Home Minister L K Advani’s claim that he was not aware of the Kandahar hostages-for-terrorists swap. The SP has been in habit of  adopting the expelled leaders from other parties. Before Jaswant Singh, the party had offered to take expelled Congress leader Natwar Singh in its fold.

Meanwhile, it seems that Jaswant Singh is likely to visit Pakistan for the launch of the book after Ramzan. The publisher of the book has planned a series of launches across various metros in the country besides abroad, including Pakistan. Asked if Singh would be part of the launch, sources said: “He is the author. What would be a book launch without him?”

The publisher has been maintaining that the book was doing  brisk business in the country.

As against his expulsion from the party, Singh has received strong support from a fellow colleague and senior BJP leader Arun Shourie. Sudhendra Kulkarni, another BJP leader and a former key aide to L K Advani, who quit the party has also backed Jaswant and described his expulsion as “graceless and baseless.”