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Rediff.com  » News » Advani relents to Jaswant's plea on Gorkhaland

Advani relents to Jaswant's plea on Gorkhaland

December 15, 2009 09:35 IST

Expelled Bharatiya Janata Party member, currently an independent Member of Parliament from West Bengal's Darjeeling, Jaswant Singh on Monday found support from an unexpected quarter -- Leader of Opposition and BJP senior leader L K Advani.

Singh had raised the issue of the hunger strike by the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha leaders in his constituency for a separate Gorkhaland state and sought support from both the treasury bench and the Opposition. After appealing to the Leader of the House, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Singh suddenly turned to Advani.

Addressing him as 'my former colleague', Singh said, "I have had the pleasure of sitting with him for four decades" and asked Advani to join him to appeal to the GJM to end the hunger strike.

Singh also reminded Advani that the BJP manifesto for the 2009 election mentioned a separate Gorkhaland.

This was the duo's first verbal exchange since Singh's expulsion from BJP last August.

In his response, Advani said, "As my name has been mentioned by my colleague in the context of the manifesto", he wishes to speak on the issue. Later, Advani also met a Gorkha delegation and eventually, the GJM withdrew their hunger strike.

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