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How the decision to sack Jaswant was taken


Bhupendra Chaubey,CNN-IBN
Aug 20, 2009 at 01:50pm IST

Shimla: Jaswant Singh, the man who served the Bharatiya Janata Party for 30 years in various capacities, was expelled from the party by just one phone call by BJP President Rajnath Singh.

Jaswant may have been booted out of the BJP but questions are now being posed about just how a senior leader like him got such an unceremonious ouster.

CNN-IBN has exclusive details of the meeting in Shimla where the decision to sack Jaswant was taken.

It all started around 1000 hrs IST on Wednesday, when Rajnath Singh started the proceedings of the Parliamentary Board setting the agenda.

Main part of his address dealt with what had been going on within the party over the last one week.

He spoke about former Rajasthan chief minister Vasundhara Raje's defiance and Jaswant Singh's praise of Pakistan's founder Mohammad Ali Jinnah.

The moment Rajnath spoke about Jinnah there were many in the room who demanded a full fledged debate on it.

Murli Manohar Joshi, Vinay Katiyar and Narnedra Modi - the troika that occupies the hardliner space within the party - demanded action against Jaswant.

Rajnath read out the statement where he dissociated the BJP from Jaswant's book once again.

But mere statement was not good enough for some and so the chorus for stern action against Jaswant started building up.

Within the room there were many who had hoped that Jaswant will be removed from the Parliamentary Board of the party.

It was Rajnath Singh himself who asked if Jaswant should be expelled from the party altogether given the fact that he had worked against Raje in Rajasthan, written letters against party leadership in Delhi and now blaming Muslims for being alienated in India during the Devil's Advocate interview to CNN-IBN.

Rajnath had moved this proposal with one eye on pleasing the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh which had gone public with its unhappiness with the state of affairs within the party.

Wary of taking on the Sangh Parivar bosses at this stage, Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley also went along with the decision.

Both had already been targetted by Jaswant Singh post the Lok Sabha defeat for running away from their accountability.

But it was LK Advani who took the longest time to make up his mind. Sensing the mood within the room he was the last one to give his go ahead for Jaswant's sacking

The deal was now done and Jaswant was shown the door.

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