File photo of PM Modi with former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and LK Advani (Source: PTI)
Former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee wanted to sack Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who was the chief minister of Gujarat at that time, after the 2002 Godhra riots but the decision was stalled by his Deputy LK Advani, former BJP leader Yashwant Sinha, who held the finance minister’s portfolio during Vajpayee’s government claimed.
Speaking at a meet-the-press programme in Madhya Pradesh’ Bhopal, Sinha said that when Vajpayee decided to dismiss Modi, Advani came out in his support and threatened to resign, forcing the former prime minister to withhold his decision.
“After the communal riots in Gujarat, Atal Bihari Vajpayee had decided that then state chief minister Narendra Modi should resign. While going to the national executive committee meeting in Goa in 2002, Atal ji had made up his mind that the Gujarat government would be dismissed if Modi ji refused to resign," the former Union finance minister claimed.
"There was a meeting within the party. According to my information, Advani ji had opposed this (dismissing the Modi government) and he told Atal ji that if Modi ji is dismissed then he (Advani) would resign from the government. So, he (Vajpayee) withheld the decision and Modi ji continued,” he added.
Speaking about the BJP’s extensive use of Pakistan to garner votes during its rallies, the former BJP leader said that it was unfortunate for the prime minister to hyphenate India with Pakistan.
"It is unfortunate that the issue of Pakistan is being raised in the elections. He hyphenated our country with Pakistan. Are we a country of Pakistan's category? There is no talk about China, which must be feeling happy with the Pakistan rhetoric," claimed the former foreign minister,” he said.