Nothing secret in Basu meeting Advani and Vajpayee

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Kolkata, Mar 25 (UNI) Admitting that former West Bengal Chief Minister Jyoti Basu had a meeting with BJP leaders L K Advani and Atal Bihari Vajpayee, sources close to Mr Basu today said there was ''nothing secret'' in it.

''It is true that a meeting took place among Mr Basu, Mr Advani and Mr Vajpayee when Mr V P Singh was the Prime Minister. But there is nothing clandestine in it, '' the sources said.

''It took place at a time when there was a tension all around over Mr Advani's rathayatra. Mr Basu met the BJP leaders at the personal request of Mr Singh, who wanted the yatra to be put off, '' they said.

However, declining to speak more, the sources said Mr Basu was yet to read Mr Advani's book and it was up to him to make comments.

The denial from Mr Basu's quarter came following a news report that quoted Mr Advani as having said in his newly published autobiography 'My Life, My Country' that the Communist patriarch held a clandestine meeting with him and Mr Vajpayee when the National Front was in power.

Mr Advani said in his autobiography that the former West Bengal Chief Minister sought a meeting with him and Mr Vajpayee because he felt that the multi-party National Front government, led by Mr V P Singh, was not functioning well.

The BJP strongman was quoted as saying the meeting was held under cover at the residence of Mr Viren J Shah in deference to Mr Basu's wishes.

''But to me it was yet another instance of the hypocritical outlook and conduct of the Communists, especially those belonging to the CPI-M,'' Mr Advani had written.


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