Indian Express

Jaswant Singh maintains suspense over fighting as independent

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Singh, who would be reaching Barmer on Sunday, refused to disclose his plans on whether he would be filing his nomination as an independent. Singh, who would be reaching Barmer on Sunday, refused to disclose his plans on whether he would be filing his nomination as an independent.

Hurt over denial of ticket, senior BJP leader Jaswant Singh on Friday ruled out any compromise on his demand for Barmer constituency and appeared to keep his options open on contesting from the seat as an independent.

He also made veiled attacks on the party leadership but took no names, comments that came as party President Rajnath Singh and senior leader Arun Jaitley spoke of utilising Singh’s services in an appropriate manner.

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“The party has done this to me twice now and now there is no chance of accepting any alternative proposal,” he told the media a day after the party gave Barmer ticket to a recent entrant and Congress defector Col Sonaram Chowdhry. Singh, who would be reaching Barmer on Sunday, refused to disclose his plans on whether he would be filing his nomination as an independent.
“Everything will be decided only after I reach Barmer and have a discussion with my supporters,” he said.

Referring to the denial of ticket to him and the “disregarding” of other senior leaders in the party, Singh said that “this party of ideology is tragically being encroached upon by those, who have been arch detractors of BJP’s ideology.” “It is so unfortunate that the BJP has been completely taken over by the elements (outsiders), who never have any  respect of party’s ideology”, he said without naming anyone.

The former union minister  said that the BJP was  now divided into two factions “one  which is real and the other is unreal or better put original and duplicate. Unfortunately the duplicate part has the reins of party now.” Opposing giving tickets to those who have recently joined the party either as defectors or as new entrants in politics, Singh remarked sarcastically that “for them it is easy to have a BJP ticket than to have a rail or a flight.” His earlier three terms in Lok Sabha have been from Jodhpur, Chittorgarh (Rajasthan) and Darjeeling (West Bengal).

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