Emotional Jaswant Singh "saddened" by his expulsion from BJP

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Shimla, Aug.19 (ANI): A shattered and emotionally overwrought Jaswant Singh on Wednesday said that his expulsion from the Bharatiya Janata Party for writing a book in which he described the founder of Pakistan, M.A.Jinnah, as a secular being, had saddened him to such an extent that he could not find the right words to react.

Interacting with media persons here on the sidelines of the BJP's Chintan Baithak, Singh said: "I told Rajnathji, if I had been informed about the decision by Advaniji or Rajnathji himself, about the decision, I would have not denied. If such a decision had already been taken, I should have been told in Delhi itself."

"It was saddening that even the courtesy or formality of issuing a show cause notice was not considered necessary," Singh said.

"I retired from the Army in 1967 for the service of the country. I am not pensioner. My party has found it fit to expel me that too without reading the book. I cannot understand my expulsion. I opt to keep quite on it. It's saddening," Singh added.

Jaswant expressed his inability to comprehend the reaction of the BJP on just a book.

He said: "I can understand the Congress party's reaction on the book, but not of the BJP."

"The day the process of Soch-Vichar, Chintan, Padhan-Likhan, Lekhan (thinking or questioning, pondering, reading and writing) would stop in Indian politics, it would not be good for the Indian politics," Jaswant remarked.

Singh confirmed that it was Rajnath Singh who had informed him over the phone about his expulsion.

"I was telephoned by the BJP President that I should absent myself from the Chintan Baithak. Later, I was called up through phone that I have been expelled from primary membership of the party," Jaswant Singh said.

Talking about his association with the BJP for over three decades since the time of its formation, Jaswant said: "I think I have served the party to the best of my ability for 30 years. I was assigned several responsibilities under the leadership of Atal Bihari Vajpayeeji for which I am grateful to the party."

A visibly hurt Jaswant Singh mentioned a cartoon once published, by India Today in which he was described as the Hanuman (saviour) of the BJP. "Today, I am sorry to say that I am being treated as a Ravana (the King of Demons)," he remarked.

"I would like to say, based on my study, that Jinnah was an ambassador of Hindu-Muslim unity, and he also condemned the great Calcutta killing. I have committed no sin, none whatsoever against India. I was as objective as possible in the party, and I am saddened from the BJP comment that 'he was not active'."

He said that Rajnath Singh had asked him whether he would be writing more books, and he had replied in the affirmative, saying that his next magnum opus would be on Rajaji (Chakravarti Rajagopalachari)(ANI)

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