BJP split wide open: Jaswant Singh hits out, Sushma Swaraj pained over denial of ticket to veteran leader

Jaswant said he was likely to resign from BJP on Sunday, and file his nomination as an independent candidate: Sources.

New Delhi | Updated: March 23, 2014 8:39 am

Two days after L K Advani was virtually forced to accept the Gandhinagar ticket over his preferred Bhopal, two of his loyalists came out in strong protest against the decision-makers in the party.

Jaswant Singh, who was denied the Barmer Lok Sabha ticket on Friday, assailed the “encroachment in the party”, and asked his supporters to differentiate between the “real and fake BJP”. In Vidisha, Sushma Swaraj amplified the protest by Jaswant by describing the move as “asaadharan” (unusual), and expressing sadness over it.

Party president Rajnath Singh downplayed the apparent humiliation of Jaswant by saying his stature could not be measured merely in terms of the party ticket. But the BJP moved ahead to deal another blow to the Advani camp on Saturday by choosing actor Paresh Rawal over old Advani loyalist and seven-term MP Harin Pathak for the Ahmedabad East seat.

“We had set up a magnificent edifice that the BJP was an alternative to the misrule of the Congress. But now there is an encroachment in the BJP. Therefore, it is necessary to see who has encroached and why this encroachment has continued and is being promoted,” Jaswant said in Jodhpur on Saturday.

“Barmer is not the only seat where an outsider has been fielded, there are several such seats across the country. I want to ask the leadership on what principles have the tickets been allotted,” he said.

The BJP has chosen Colonel Sonaram Choudhary, who crossed over from the Congress this week, over Jaswant for the Barmer ticket. The decision was believed to have been taken jointly by Rajnath and Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje. 

Sources close to Jaswant said he was likely to resign from the BJP on Sunday, and file his nomination as an independent candidate from Barmer on Monday.

Hurtful to think this is not ‘real’ BJP: Jaswant

The veteran leader broke down before reporters and his followers in Jodhpur, saying, “It is hurtful to even think that this is not the real BJP.” The “state and central leadership should reflect” on the “encroachment on the principles of the party”, he said. “The party worker has to differentiate between the real and fake BJP.”

In Delhi, the BJP president handed out a vague assurance that Jaswant’s experience would be leveraged after the elections.

Jaswant Singh is a senior leader of the party and we respect him. His dignity (pratishtha) cannot be measured in terms of tickets,” Rajnath said. “We will utilize his services and experience appropriately.”

Speaking to reporters in Vidisha, however, Swaraj revealed that the decision to deny Jaswant a ticket had not even been discussed by the BJP’s election panel — thereby suggesting that a coterie led by Rajnath had taken a unilateral call.

“This is a ticket (Barmer) that was not discussed in the CEC,” Swaraj was quoted as saying. “I am personally saddened by this decision,” she said.

The BJP had earlier brushed aside her objections to BSR Congress leader B Sriramulu, giving him the ticket for Bellary in Karnataka. Like Jaswant on Friday, the decision to deny Harin Pathak the ticket on Saturday too was announced without the CEC having met.

Jaswant will visit his native village Jasol on Sunday before heading to Barmer on Monday. Sources close to the family said the leader was under pressure from supporters to contest as an independent.

Posters against the “fake BJP”, and seeking support for Jaswant, were circulated across western Rajasthan on Saturday. “Jaswant ka yeh apmaan, nahin sahega Rajasthan” (Rajasthan will not tolerate Jaswant’s insult), “waqt hai asli BJP aur nakli BJP mein chayan karein” (It is time to choose between the real and fake BJP), and “Jaswant ke saath chalein, sachhai ke saath chalein” (Back Jaswant, back the truth), said the posters, put up on vehicles of supporters, and circulated on social media.

Narendra Modi’s photo had been covered on the posters, which also had pictures of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and BJP patriarch L K Advani.

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  1. m
    m. abraham
    Mar 27, 2014 at 9:26 am
    How Shri Modi happened to be the PM candidate ignoring their other senior and better leaders?
    1. C
      Mar 23, 2014 at 4:47 am
      You can clearly how NaMo functions. He just wants his way by hook or by crook. One can only imagine if he really comes to power...
      1. G
        George Cv
        Mar 23, 2014 at 3:33 am
        BJP is history. It is modi, ambani, adani etc hereafter.
        1. D
          Mar 23, 2014 at 10:36 am
          Miss Sushma, BJP is meant to sit in opposition for ever and not for rule.
          1. D
            Mar 23, 2014 at 10:33 am
            Miss Sushma, one wrong decision/action/thought/writing can change one's w future life, for which there is no solution.
            1. F
              Mar 23, 2014 at 5:53 am
              all these guys should work to support Modi Rajnath jaitley instead of going around whining like this
              1. G
                Mar 23, 2014 at 4:39 am
                He must be referring to modi(Feku)
                1. B
                  Mar 24, 2014 at 1:42 pm
                  thnks for the useful information.....Please visit :thecareershaperfor government jobs,internation jobs,current affairs,gk,counseling,free download doents and study materials and much more
                  1. I
                    Mar 23, 2014 at 2:59 am
                    who cares of them..Useless old leaders
                    1. M
                      Mohammed Khader
                      Mar 22, 2014 at 11:34 pm
                      Sushma you are next on chopping block.
                      1. I
                        Mar 23, 2014 at 6:02 am
                        It is a sad for Bjp that jaswanta singh is leaving bjp
                        1. R
                          Mar 23, 2014 at 2:48 am
                          Vote for BJP to elect your old Congress neta.
                          1. S
                            Mar 23, 2014 at 7:05 am
                            there is no harm in denying the ticket to Jaswant singh.The cm of rajasthan did not want him and it is better for the BJP central leaders to take note of these non support as it can lead to more winning of seats.we want new leadrship rather than just following the same old netas.BJP should give more tickets to new comers and youngsters.
                            1. N
                              Mar 23, 2014 at 10:14 pm
                              It is the right time for the elders in India who are above sixty which is the retirement age for government servants to leave the job of politics to youngsters. They can play a secondary role of grooming the youngsters. The new government should p a law that should bar anybody from holding public office for more than two terms or ten years which ever happens earlier. In U.S of America the president cannot hold office for more than two terms.
                              1. S
                                Mar 23, 2014 at 2:47 am
                                I wonder if the allies are realizing what sort of monstrous BJP they are aligning with and what will happen if and when these right-wing fanatics actually come to power. If they can treat the party founders and moderate seniors in the party like this, I am sure the current BJP leadership will ensure even worse treatment of its allies. I am guessing, they will ensure that some of the big allies will be forced to pull out of the alliance and they'll call for another election to attract sympathy vote, the same they did in Karnataka, which brought in iyurappa, the most corrupt government ever formed in the State.
                                1. V
                                  vikram shenoy
                                  Mar 23, 2014 at 4:59 am
                                  Old man go home please..time to play with Kids not with Nation!!!
                                  1. V
                                    Mar 26, 2014 at 2:41 pm
                                    Its no more about bjp anymore!! Its just modi . He and his obsession
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