“The more fruits a tree bears, the lower hang its branches,” was all a crestfallen Jaswant Singh had to say as the party he had once founded — and from which he was unceremoniously expelled — swept the Lok Sabha polls.
As the curtains came down on his 47-year-old public life, Jaswant, still in disbelief over his loss by 87,461 votes, wondered how he would keep himself engaged. “Will you give me a job in your hotel?” he jokingly asked his younger son, Bhupendra Singh, during a quiet lunch with wife Sheetal Kanwar. “I have been working for 60 years, but God now wants me to stop. It is perhaps a blessing in disguise.”
As the contest grew closer and BJP candidate Col Sonaram Choudhary raced past him, Jaswant kept searching for one answer: “Where did we go wrong?” By early afternoon, Jaswant knew it was “no longer doable” as he trailed by over 70,000 votes. “I do not feel defeated, though the fact is, I am defeated,” he said.
It is almost heartbreaking for the family that canvassed to ensure “Daata” (as Jaswant is fondly called in the region) wins his last election. Sheetal pointed out, “He started off as an Independent and lost, and ended on the same note.”
Though this was his last innings, Jaswant is convinced he can never retire from politics. “I can never retire but yes, this is the end of my active political career. There will be no going back. I wish I had not ended on this note,” he said.