Congress attacks Jaswant Singh for defending Advani

Congress attacks Jaswant Singh for defending AdvaniNew Delhi, Apr 25: The Congress on Saturday attacked senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Jaswant Singh for his latest claim that BJP''s primeministerial candidate L. K. Advani had opposed the decision to free terrorists during the Kandahar hijack crisis.

Talking to reporters here, party spokesperson Rajiv Shukla termed Jawant Singh''s attempt to defend Advani as a "complete farce" and said that he was "unnecessarily blaming" former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

"Why to blame unnecessarily an old Brahmin Vajpayee who is not able to defend himself because of ill health," Shukla said.

Jaswant Singh had claimed that Advani, who was the Home Minister in 1999, when the Kandahar plane hijack episode took place, was not in favour of the proposal to swap terrorists for hostages.

He had said that the then prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had, in fact, asked him (Jaswant Singh) to meet Advani to persuade him to agree to the exchange. Advani later had to agree to the Union Cabinet''s consensus on the issue, he said.

Advani had earlier said that he was unaware that the then External Affairs Minister Jaswant Singh accompanied the three terrorists released in exchange for passengers of hijacked Indian Airlines plane to Kandahar in 1999.

Reacting sharply to Singh''s comments, Congress president Sonia Gandhi, on Friday had accused the BJP of telling a thousand lies to hide a single lie.

"The question is not what happened in Kandahar, it is about telling the truth. You have to admit - say yes, we made a mistake. This reminds me of the saying: you tell a thousand lies to hide one lie," she said at a rally in Gujarat''s Kheralu. (ANI)

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