BJP's ideology has become narrow: Jaswant

Jaswant Singh

"There is no point in returning to the party which expelled me...BJP's ideology has become narrow... if the party wants to rise and stand big, it will have to change its attitude," Singh told reporters here.

"I do not not harbour any ambition or plan to join any other political party," Singh, who was here to release the Urdu translation of his book 'Jinnah, Partition and Independence', said.

Justifying his comments on Jinnah, Singh said he would not change his stand and would keep on trying to bridge the gap between Hindus and Muslims.

On the reported pressure on him to step down as chairman of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of the Lok Sabha, he said, "The post I occupy has not not been bestowed upon me as dowry by BJP... a member of the house is eligible to keep the post."

Jaswant also ruled out seeking elections afresh from Darjeeling from where he was elected to the Lok Sabha on a BJP ticket in May last, just three months before his expulsion from the party.

However, he said he did not plan to quit electoral politics and he was serving Darjeeling.

On the Gujarat riots, Singh reiterated that former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee was in favour of change of leadership in the state.

"I apprised Advani about this matter who suggested me to keep mum as raking such controversial issue might lead to political turmoil," he said.

The former External Affairs minister again justified the stand on exchange of terrorists for saving the passengers aboard the boeing in Kandahar.

"Handing over two or three terrorists for protecting innocent 161 passengers aboard a plane should not be taken as a blunder... and I am not going to regret it," Singh said.
On the issues in which he had differences of opinions when he was in the BJP, Singh said he had strongly disfavoured L K Advani's ratha yatra, besides opposing the move to forge an alliance with Shiv Sena in Maharashtra.

"But unfortunately, I failed to succeed on these issue", he added.
Jaswant also denied of having revolted against the BJP leadership that might have led to his exit.

"I had not not risen in any form of rebellion... I do not not even think on those lines," Singh said.

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