Former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had expressed his discontent over the 2002 Gujarat riots and called it “our mistake”, according to former RAW Chief A.S. Dulat.
Dulat said this while recalling a meeting with Vajpayee.
In an interview to Karan Thapar on his India Today TV programme telecast on Thursday night, Dulat briefly mentioned about his last meeting with the former Prime Minister during which the BJP stalwart reflected about the 2002 Gujarat riots and said, “woh humare se galti hui hai(it was our mistake).”
Dulat, who headed the external spy agency Research and Analysis Wing till 2000 before he was appointed as Special Advisor in Vajpayee’s PMO on Kashmir issue, said Vajpayee always believed that the post-Godhra riots in 2002 was a “mistake” and the grief was “clearly visible” on his face.
The handling of the Gujarat riots when Prime Minister Narendra Modi was the Chief Minister has been at the centre of a controversy.
Dulat, whose book, “Kashmir: The Vajpayee Years”, is slated to be released shortly, said BJP leader L.K. Advani, who was the deputy prime minister in the Atal Bihari 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.