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How the BJP tried to topple the UPA

Onkar Singh in New Delhi | July 05, 2008 13:12 IST
Last Updated: July 05, 2008 16:39 IST

Jaswant Singh, leader of opposition in Rajya Sabha, took everyone by surprise at a press conference on Saturday when he revealed that the Bharatiya Janata Party had offered to extend outside support to the United National Progressive Alliance's prime ministerial candidate if the UNPA agreed to vote for Bhairon Singh Shekhawat during the Presidential elections in 2007.

"I had been authorised by the BJP to hold talks with the UNPA parties, which were holding a meeting in a New Delhi hotel. I met AIADMK leader Jayalalitha and told her that the BJP was willing to make anyone from the UNPA prime minister, if they agreed to vote for Shekhawat. She said that she would get back in a minute and we did not hear from her," said Jaswant Singh.

The senior BJP leader made the comments at a press conference called by BJP's prime ministerial candidate L K Advani, where the latter demanded that the United Progressive Alliance government should seek a vote of confidence in the Parliament. However, Advani abruptly ended the press conference soon after Singh made the startling revelation.
Though BJP leaders deny that there are any differences between the two senior leaders, Singh has reportedly never missed an opportunity to embarrass Advani.

When probed further, Jaswant refused to confirm Samajwadi Party leader Amar Singh's claim that the offer for PM candidate had been made for Mulayam Singh Yadav.

Asked why he had met Amar Singh on the same day that the SP leader was scheduled to meet the National Security Advisor MK Narayanan on the nuclear deal, Singh said, "I had gone there (Amar Singh's residence) to see which way the wind blows. As far as the NSA 's meeting with Amar Singh is concerned, it went on for several hours. The government was so paranoid that it even released the queries raised by Amar Singh."

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