Contradicting his party colleague Sushma Swaraj, BJP president Rajnath Singh on Tuesday suggested that Jaswant Singh was denied ticket from Barmer after the Central Election Committee discussed the issue and that the step was taken due to certain “political compulsions”.
Rajnath Singh said Jaswant Singh could not be nominated despite “everyone” wanting and all senior party leaders, including himself, were also “pained” by this decision.
He said “extraordinary decisions are taken in extraordinary situations” but refused to elaborate.
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“Even while desiring from the depth of our hearts, it was not possible for us to give ticket to Jaswant Singhji from Barmer,” Rajnath Singh told a TV news channel.
He acknowledged that Jaswant Singh had told him about his desire to contest from Barmer and that he had told him that he will discuss the issue with the Rajasthan unit of BJP.
“I talked to everyone. Everyone respects him. But there were certain political compulsions because of which the ticket could not be given to him,” Rajnath Singh said.
When referred to Swaraj’s statement that the issue of nomination from Barmer was not decided by CEC, the BJP chief refused to go into specifics, merely saying, “Rajasthan issue was discussed in the CEC… All seats of Rajasthan were discussed in CEC.”
Soon after Jaswant Singh was denied ticket on Saturday last, Swaraj had said that “There must be some reason because this as that ticket was not decided by the (BJP) Central Election Committee.”
The BJP President said that he would not like to discuss the nitty-gritty of what all happened in the Central Election Committee meeting.
“What happened in the CEC meeting…what all issues had come forward…I do not think there is a need to discuss them. I should not do so as well,” Rajnath Singh said.
Noting that all the seats of Rajasthan were discussed during the CEC meeting, Singh said he would not discuss who was present in the meeting and who was not.
“I am not in a position to disclose anything on this particular matter. I should not do so as well,” Singh said.
The BJP president said that though Jaswant Singh could not be nominated from the seat, the party had at the same time decided that his efficiency, talent, seniority will be utilised to the full.