Now that the BJP finds itself in a state of turmoil, lets talk about Kandahar.
Why was Jaswant Singh made the fall guy all these years? The BJP always portrayed Advani as a “Strong” leader and by taking the blame for the Kandahar episode, Advani would not have been the perfect candidate. There was a need to be as spotless as the white kurta he generally wears. Kandahar would not have allowed that. So, very conveniently, the PM candidate said on national television that he was not in the know about the decision that was taken in that cabinet meeting. People of this country were asked to believe that the then home minister was oblivious to the fact that Jaswant Singh would escort the terrorists to Kandahar in return for the passengers on IC-814.
My question is this — did they have a choice?
Answer — Yes and No.
In Kandahar, with the Taliban surrounding the aircraft, there was no choice. There should have been no choice. There is no leader in India who would have decided otherwise. Risking the life of 200 passengers was a gamble that could have proved too costly. My opinion is that the NDA government did the obvious.
But what Advani is really afraid of is this — There was a lax from New Delhi when the aircraft was allowed to take off from Amritsar where it had landed for a refuel. Imagine the pilot’s dismay then. Amritsar was IC-814’s last and only hope. Amritsar was the only point in the whole drama where India could have had a win-win situation. And that is where New Delhi goofed up. The leadership in the capital did not approve of an action then. And Advani is scared of owning even a single bit of it.
And this same guy, he wants to become the Prime Minister.