Former Prime Minister and BJP leader Atal Bihari Vajpayee had expressed that the 2002 Gujarat riot was a ‘mistake’. Vajpayee said the “mistake” in Gujarat was the reason for NDA’s defeat in the 2004 general election, former RAW Chief A. S. Dulat, said.
Recalling his meeting with the veteran BJP leader, Dulat, in an interview to India Today, said, “You could see the sadness in his (Vajpayee’s) eyes.” “Gujarat mein humse kuch galti ho gayi (We committed some mistake in Gujarat),” Dulat quoted Vajpayee as saying.
Dulat, headed the External Spy Agency Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) till 2000 before he was appointed as Special Advisor in Vajpayee’s PMO on the Kashmir issue. He said Vajpayee always believed that the post-Godhra riots in 2002 was a “mistake” and the grief was “clearly visible” on his face.
In his book, Kashmir: The Vajpaye Years, slated to release shortly, Dulat said L.K. Advani, who was the Deputy PM in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government, revealed many inside stories of how the Vajpayee government was not happy with the way the then Principal Secretary Brijesh Mishra was given importance by Vajpayee.
“Brijesh Mishra virtually ran the government. He was cool, composed and was the only boss. He had a very sharp mind. Advani felt the Principal Secretary was more important than the Deputy PM and this was the main issue between Advani and Vajpayee,” Dulat said.