Kulkarni equates Advani with Jaswant on Jinnah remarks

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Mumbai, Aug. 23 (ANI): Sudheendra Kulkarni, who has quit the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) over ideological differences with its present leadership, has equated one time mentor L.K. Advani with expelled party leader Jaswant Singh in so far as remarks on Jinnah are concerned.

In an interview with the Times Now television channel, Kulkarni described the expulsion of Jaswant Singh as unfortunate, and as a graceless and baseless action.

"There is nothing in the book (Jinnah: India, Partition Independence) to suggest that Jaswant Singh has denigrated Jinnah and Sardar Patel, or he has gone against the ideology of the BJP. In fact, I don't see any essential difference between what Advani has written about Jinnah in his book and what Jaswant Singh has written about Jinnah in his book. The only difference is that the entire book by Jaswant Singh is a political biography of Jinnah, but there is no essential difference between the basic arguments. Therefore I consider it very unfortunate that such a graceless action should have been taken against Jaswant Singh," Kulkarni told the channel.

He said that he has decided to end his active association with the BJP because of ideological differences.

He told the channel: "I want to remain honest and sincere to my own conviction and ideas. I also want to have freedom to express them. At the same time I entirely recognise that the party has its own discipline and it is not proper for an individual to remain inside the party and express his views. The right was for me to come out of the party, which is what I have done. I continue to remain a well-wisher of the BJP," he said.

He, however, refused to elaborate on his differences with the party.

"I came to the conclusion that I cannot make meaningful contribution to the party anymore. Therefore I decided to step out," he said.

"Going forward, I continue to remain active in public life and in my own small humble way, try to promote the ideals of good governance and building national consensus on national issues. This, I would like to work closely with like minded people in all political parties," he added.

He also said that his decision had nothing to do with Jaswant Singh's expulsion from the BJP.

"I had taken my decision several weeks back and communicated it to Mr. Advani. I am proud of having spent 13 very satisfying productive years working closely with two of the tallest leaders of India -- Vajpayee and Advani. I hold them in the highest respect. My decision will not diminish my respect for them. I am greatful to them as well as all other senior leaders of the party for giving me an opportunity to work for this great party. But, when you have differences, the right thing is to step out which is what I have done," he said. (ANI)

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