Indian Express

Leaders should learn to accept ‘no': Arun Jaitley on Jaswant Singh

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arun BJP's candidate from Amritsar Arun Jaitley addresses an election rally at Attari near Amritsar on Friday. (PTI Photo)

With Jaswant Singh set to contest from Barmer as an Independent after being denied a Bharatiya Janata Party ticket, BJP leader Arun Jaitley on Sunday said leaders should sometime take “no” for an answer.

“Membership of a political party is a privilege. It is also an act of self oppression where personal views and ambitions are subjected to collective wisdom of the party. At times, the party may flood leaders with privileges and positions. On other occasions, the leader may have to take ‘no’ as an answer to his desires,” Jaitley wrote on his website.

He said a politician who is denied a ticket must accept the party decision with a “smile”.

“This becomes a test of his loyalty and discipline. Restraint and silence are always a preferred option. Over reaction may prove to be a transient storm in a tea cup. Silence is always dignified and more gracious,” he said in an apparent reference to Singh without naming him.

Jaitley, contesting from Amritsar seat, said in election season, many politicians  who desire to become candidates succeed in getting a party nomination, but many more get left out.

“A political party is built upon the support of millions of political workers who have sacrificed their time and energy without ever aspiring to hold elected office. What does a politician do when after a successful political career the party is unable to accommodate him once? That is when his discipline and political loyalty are tested,” the Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha wrote.

Upset over being a ticket, former Union Minister 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.

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