Two years after he quit Bharatiya Janata Party after openly criticising L K Advani, veteran Delhi leader Madan Lal Khurana was on Friday re-inducted into the party after he expressed 'regret' for his comments against the leader.
The re-entry of the 71-year-old former Delhi chief minister assumes significance as it comes ahead of the assembly elections to be held by November.
BJP president Rajnath Singh re-inducted Khurana after days of secret parleys and is seen as a move to re-energise the party in Delhi as he has considerable following in the Punjabi community of the capital.
"He (Khurana) has written a letter withdrawing his comments against the party and expressing regret over his remarks," a party leader told PTI.
The party, however, has made no commitment on giving any post to the former Delhi BJP strongman and discussions in this regard are expected in the next few days.
Khurana refused to give any reaction immediately, saying he would speak on it later.
Khurana, who was also former Governor of Rajasthan, had severely criticised Advani in April 2006 over the Kandahar hijack episode and asserted that he could not work with him.
He had taken objection to Advani's remarks that the former Deputy Prime Minister had differed with the decision to release terrorists during the hijack crisis.
Khurana had remarked that Advani's comments were aimed at showing himself as a 'hero' and former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee as 'zero'.
Interestingly, his re-entry comes at a time when the ghost of Kandahar has returned to haunt the BJP and Advani.
Before he quit the BJP, Khurana had been suspended from the party for associating with expelled BJP leader Uma Bharti. The suspension had come barely five months after he was re-inducted into the party following expulsion for attacking Advani and supporting Gujarat dissidents.
Khurana had then accused Advani of having a 'dictatorial attitude' and turning BJP into a 'private limited company' by forming a 'coterie' around him.He was re-inducted in December 2005 after he expressed regret for his comments against Advani.
Khurana later joined the Bharatiya Janshakti Party floated by Uma Bharti but the two fell out soon. He quit Bharti's party last year in protest against her decision to support BJP in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls and announced launching of his own 'morcha' to fight for full statehood for Delhi and its development.