New Delhi, Apr 4: Former Delhi Chief Minister Madan Lal Khurana, once the most powerful BJP leader in Delhi, was today taken back in the party, apparently keeping in view the upcoming Assembly Election in the state.
Mr Khurana, a former Union Minister and a former Governor, was expelled from the party about three years ago after he criticised BJP Patriarch L K Advani publicly and expressed his inability to work with him. The party said Mr Khurana had withdrawn all his allegations and expressed desire to work for the party.
A five-line statement issued by the party said: "BJP National President Rajnath Singh has given his consent to Mr Khurana, Ex-Chief Minister of Delhi, coming back to the Bharatiya Janata Party. Mr Khurana regrets his behaviour and expresses his desire to work for the Party and withdraw all allgations about the party." Asked if the party had pardoned Mr Khurana for his anti-party outbursts, BJP General Secretary Arun Jaitley said the note issued by the party was self explanatory. Mr Khurana had withdrawn all the allegations.
Further prodded if he thought that his coming back would be useful, Mr Jaitley said any old worker coming back to the party "always provides strength to the party". He however avoided a direct reply whether the party was also thinking about re-instating former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Uma Bharti. "Today's decision is regarding Mr Khurana only," he said.
Associated with the BJP and formerly the Bharatiya Jana Sangh for about sixty years, Mr Khurana was credited with reviving the party in Delhi after it had got a drubbing in the 1984 election held after the assassination of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. It earned him the title "Delhi ka Sher" (Lion of Delhi) and he was made Chief Minister in 1993 but had to resign following the 'Hawala controversy' in 1996.
He had been annoyed with the party for not reinstating him as the Chief Minister even after he was absolved of all charges by the Hawala Court.
Mr Khurana was, however, later made a Cabinet Minister in Vajpayee government and was appointed the Governor of Rajasthan in 2004 which he resigned after ten months to return to active politics in Delhi at the instance of some pressure from some legislators and people of his constituency.
After his first expulsion in September 2005, he was taken back in the party after he had apologised for the remarks but was again expelled in March 2006 for an anti-party statement.
He then joined the Bharatiya Jan Shakti, floated by BJP's another firebrand leader Uma Bharti who was also expelled from the party.
He however left Uma's party, accusing that she was not helping his cause as committed.