Jaswant Singh, who was expelled from the BJP in August last year, rejoined the party on Thursday in the presence of senior leader L K Advani and party president Nitin Gadkari.
At a hurriedly-called press conference, both Advani and Gadkari said there were happy over Jaswant Singh's return. Jaswant Singh has been appointed member of the party national executive.
“It is both with happiness and a sense of relief that I welcome Jaswantji to our party”, said Advani.
“Jo kuchh beeta woh itihaas hai. Bhoot Kaal chhod kar vartaman kaal me louten, hamein unka sahyog milega” (Whatever happened in the past is history. Let's leave behind the past, and return to the present. We expect Jaswantji's cooperation and guidance), said Gadkari.
The three leaders did not take any question from the media.
Jaswant Singh said he wanted to say three things: One, it was Advani who phoned him, called him to his house and asked him to return. “The hurt and humiliation that I felt when I was expelled are over. It is with a sense of deep gratitude and generosity that Lalji asked me to return”.
Secondly, Jaswant Singh said, the party president Nitin Gadkari on taking over the reins of the party rang him up and sought his blessings. We talked for two hours. “Beeta hua karm beet jata hai” (The karma of the past is over)
Thirdly, its my firm belief that BJP is one of the two poles of national politics and strengthening the BJP is a national imperative, said Singh.
There had been speculation about return of 72-year-old Singh, who was summarily expelled from the BJP at its Chitan Bhaitak in Shimla in August 2009 for penning a book praising Pakistan founder M A Jinnah, after he recently said that BJP was in his blood and he missed the party.
The former External Affairs Minister, who also served as Finance Minister, was in touch with Advani for the past few months. They talked to each other over phone and also met a few times since his expulsion nine months ago.
Sources said Advani, who was not happy with the manner in which one of the party's founding members was expelled without seeking an explanation, was instrumental in bringing Singh back.
Jaswant Singh's book "Jinnah- India, partition, Independence" earned him the wrath of his party and the RSS for praising Jinnah and holding Jawaharlal Nehru and Sardar Patel responsible for partition.
Singh maintains that Jinnah was secular, something unacceptable to the Sangh Parivar. Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi had banned Singh's book in his state. After his expulsion, BJP also asked him to step down from the Chairmanship of Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee but he refused.
Later in December 2009, he gave up the post three months before his term expired. Interestingly, BJP has not explained why Jaswant Singh is now acceptable to it when he has not changed his views on Jinnah and Patel. PTI