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Jaswant Singh likely to contest as independent candidate from Barmer
Upset over denial of ticket, former Union Minister and BJP veteran Jaswant Singh on Sunday said he has decided to contest the Lok Sabha elections as an independent from the Barmer seat and will file his nomination papers on Monday.
Singh, however, is not resigning from the party yet and said he would consult his colleagues before taking that step.
“Yes, I am filing my nomination papers tomorrow from Barmer. Independent or not, will depend on the party’s attitude,” he said when asked whether he would contest despite denial of a ticket from his home constituency. The 76-year-old leader, who currently represents Darjeeling in Lok Sabha, is upset over the Barmer seat being given to recent entrant from Congress Sonaram Chowdhry.
To a specific query about his resignation in the wake of his 48-hour deadline to BJP, Singh said, “I will speak about this after consulting my colleagues and others in Barmer and then take a decision.”
Singh said nobody in the BJP had tried to reach him ever since he set the 48-hour deadline for quitting the party.
“If I am not emotional about my home and my party, then what am I going to be emotional about…If the party decides to talk to me, they know my numbers and how I can be reached. Since I came here, nobody has tried to reach me,” he said today, putting the onus of preventing his exit on BJP.
On BJP chief Rajnath Singh’s remarks that his services will be utilised appropriately, he said, “I am not a piece of furniture. The choice of the adjective ‘adjust’ itself is indicative of the mentality. You cannot adjust with principles and it is insulting”.
Slamming the BJP President’s remarks that the party will compensate him after the elections, Singh said, “I reject the thought and I reject the mentality behind it. Assumption is that they shall form the government and offer me some throttle. They can keep it for themselves”.
He said the “thoughts behind these chain of words are full of arrogance and disrespect”.
On posters of Narendra Modi being torn up by Jaswant Singh’s supporters in Rajasthan, the former Union Minister said, “If the posters are being torn up, then I think the party has to reflect deeply why is this happening”.
Singh said, “Throughout my political life I have worked for the welfare of the party according to what situations demand. I do not approve adjustment politics”.
The senior BJP leader had yesterday attacked the party leadership for denying him a ticket and said one needs to distinguish between the “real” and the “fake” BJP. He also alleged that the party has been taken over by “outsiders”.
He has been demanding a party ticket from his home constituency of Barmer, saying this is his last election. He represented the Darjeeling constituency in the outgoing Lok Sabha, from where the party has nominated former Rajya Sabha member S S Ahluwalia.
Singh was a senior Minister in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led NDA government in which he held important portfolios of External Affairs, Defence and Finance.
Jaswant’s son might follow father’s footsteps
Meanwhile, Manvendra Singh, Jaswant Singh’s son, who is currently an MLA in the Vasundhara Raje-led government in Rajasthan, has also indicated that he might follow in his father’s footsteps.
When contacted, Manvendra said that he was “extremely stressed out” and was resting.
Rejecting reports that he has written to the BJP about the current situation, he said, “I have not written to the party and I have informed the party that I am stressed out and need some rest.”
Terming the emergence of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) an “aberration,” the Congress has said that its magic won’t be repeated in the upcoming general elections.
“It is an aberration,” senior Congress leader and Minister for Commerce and Industry Anand Sharma said, adding that the AAP would “certainly not” be able to reprise its Delhi assembly electoral performance in the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections.