New Delhi, Mar 29: The Bharatiya Janata Party's prime ministerial candidate, LK Advani's, book "My Country My Life" is receiving flak from many quarters for the description of events that took place when the party was in power.
George Fernandes, the then Defence Minister and Cabinet colleague of Advani, contradicted Leader of Opposition's claim that he was not party to the decision to send Jaswant Singh to Kandahar to swap terrorists for hostages. The journey performed by Jaswant Singh On December 31, 1999 with three terrorists to Kandahar during IC-814 hijack, has long been criticised and remains a blot on BJP-led Government's stint. LK Advani did attend the meeting of ministers, which decided that Jaswant Singh should fly to Kandahar with the terrorists to be traded off for the passengers of a hijacked Indian plane, Fernandes told a news channel. The veteran ally's remarks left the BJP speechless days after Advani had claimed he was initially unaware of the controversial decision, and came to know of it at the last minute. Fernandes remark that Advani was part of all major events during the BJP-led NDA Government ranging from the nuclear explosion at Pokharan to Kargil war has provided the Congress Party fresh ammunition.
The Congress Party mocked at Advani's memoir, and said it should be titled " My Country My Life and My Lies".
Meanwhile, to add to Advani's embarrassment, former US Ambassador Robert Blackwill, an appointee of the George Bush Administration who assumed office in 2001, politely made it clear he was not ambassador in 1999, as claimed in Advani's book.
Advani's book claimed that he was deeply disappointed when the US did not even try to help India during the hijack crisis despite him seeking assistance from Ambassador Blackwill.
Blackwill pointed out that he was not envoy in 1999, when Bill Clinton was President. He was in fact, at Harvard.