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Same side goal, says Congress

New Delhi, June 11: To the Congress, it is a case of “self goal” by L.K. Advani.

As he returned to the BJP headquarters today, his image as the party’s iron man bruised, Congress leaders said if Advani had intended to provoke a debate on the Partition with his secular certificate to Mohammed Ali Jinnah, it has backfired.

“Even if it was his plan to drag people into a debate, nobody took that bait,” Congress leader Arjun Singh, believed to have shaped the party’s views on the episode, said.

“It is cheap on Advani’s part to believe that people are so gullible. People are much wiser than some of our leaders. People like Advani cannot dim the lustre of leaders like Gandhiji and (Jawaharlal) Nehru,” Singh said, asked whether the BJP chief had intended to trigger a debate on the Partition.

“It was pure opportunism, it was bluff,” he added, asserting there was nothing ideological about Advani’s comments. Even the RSS has called Advani’s “bluff”, Singh said, adding that “Advani apologised and regained his top party post”.

Jinnah ‘role’

Pakistan today said it was proud of the “role” played by its founder. “I do not want to react to what Advani or the BJP has said. All I can say is the Quaid-e-Azam is the father of the nation. His role in creating a homeland for Muslims, which is now Pakistan, is a role we are proud of and we will always be proud of. The whole world recognises that the Quaid-e-Azam was great leader,” Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz said.

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