Did money change hands in Kandahar? BJP rebels plan to write to PM, seek probe

With former Deputy PM L K Advani reopening the Kandahar debate by hinting that he was opposed to the exchange of terrorists for the safe release of passengers on board the hijacked IC-814, BJP dissidents are now planning to rake it up to let their leadership do some answering.

The Indian Express has learnt that at least one leader, expelled recently, plans to write to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, demanding an inquiry into the Kandahar swap. Another senior BJP leader is also getting ready to join the issue.

What the BJP dissidents also plan to raise is whether money exchanged hands in return for the safe release of passengers and whether the presence on board IC-814 of Swiss currency king Roberto Giori had anything to do with it.

The BJP dissidents may refer to a complaint made to the PM by Congressman R K Anand in December 2004. In his letter, Anand had alleged that money was flown to Kandahar and that the Swiss had sent an emissary to secure the release of Giori.

While the PMO had acknowledged receiving Anand's letter, nothing more was done on it by the UPA government. But the BJP dissidents, trying to hit back at their own by even linking the Varanasi attacks to the release in Kandahar of Maulana Masood Azhar, may just give UPA an issue.

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