As his selection from Barmer seat virtually sparked a revolt by Jaswant Singh, Sonaram Chowdhry on Saturday made it clear that he had the support of Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje but evaded queries on the veteran leader, saying the issue will be handled by seniors.
“The issue of Jaswant Singh is a top level matter and I am a new entrant in BJP. I cannot comment on this. It is for the Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje and other seniors to handle. She showed faith in my calibre and I will prove my mettle,” Sonaram said.
A section of BJP, including Jaswant Singh’s supporters, have protested after he was denied ticket and Sonaram’s candidature was announced on Friday but the former Congress MP and MLA, who joined BJP three days back, is unfazed by the development.
Sonaram, who lost the state assembly election last year as a Congress candidate, said, “I am confident that I will win by an impressive majority. There are local issues pertaining to development which I will be taking up and focusing on during campaigning.
“There is impact of Modi wave in Rajasthan too and the government formed by the BJP will provide people relief and also development and growth.” A Jat leader, Sonaram had been vocal against former chief minister Ashok Gehlot and his functioning.
“I have been a critic of Ashok Gehlot as he promoted leaders who had no ground. He sidelined seniors in the state which resulted in unprecedented debacle in assembly elections. “The way he mishandled the project of oil refinery is a known by all,” he said.
Sonaram said that he explained the situation to Congress high command several times but no action against anyone was taken. “Because of the sorry state of affairs in Congress, I joined BJP with a new hope,” he said. Jaswant Singh, who is the sitting MP from Darjeeling (West Bengal), may contest as independent candidate. It will make the contest triangular with Singh, Sonaram and sitting MP Harish Chaudhary of Congress in the fray.
Singh on Saturday told reporters that he will hold discussions with his supporters in Barmer on reaching there tomorrow before announcing his decision on March 24. Singh’s supporters in Barmer damaged some party hoardings over denial of ticket to him.