Indian Express

I will be much happier as an Independent; won’t return to BJP: Jaswant Singh

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Singh said several works have to be done for development of Barmer and he would make all efforts to ensure growth and development in the area. (PTI) Singh said several works have to be done for development of Barmer and he would make all efforts to ensure growth and development in the area. (PTI)

Expelled BJP leader Jaswant Singh Friday ruled out the possibility of joining the BJP even if the party comes to power. “No, I will not be doing so,” Singh said at an interaction at the Press Club of India when asked if he would get back to his old party after the NDA comes to power. “I will be much happier as an Independent. I will not return to the BJP,” he said.

The former BJP leader justified his rebellion against the party and sought to blame the BJP for his expulsion. He sought to suggest that his son Manvendra Singh, who is a BJP MLA in Rajasthan, was being made a scapegoat and termed the suspension of his son from the party as “gross injustice”.

“I did not take an extreme step. The party, in fact, had taken an extreme step over which I had to come out. My step has been natural,” Singh said, justifying his decision to contest as an Independent from Barmer.

“It has been an act of gross injustice and vendetta,” he said, answering queries regarding Manvendra’s suspension. The leader claimed that his son had not even accompanied him for campaigning during the elections. While Jaswant made light of the claims of a “Modi wave”, saying that all he felt was hot summer “loo” in Barmer and nothing else, the veteran parliamentarian said the RSS was “very involved” in the BJP campaign.
“In these particular elections, the RSS is certainly very involved and has deployed its men to assist BJP,” Singh said, when asked about RSS’s role in the ongoing BJP campaign. He claimed that it was only after the unprecedented situation of the Emergency that the RSS had actively participated in electioneering in 1977 elections.

The expelled BJP leader, however, took a grim view of the rising impression that one person was controlling the party. He said this was not a natural evolution of the BJP. “The BJP has not had, even at the time of Atal Bihari Vajpayee, a single man taking decisions. It is a choice made by the BJP, but not a natural evolution,” Singh said. The former external affairs minister also advocated the need for the country to revisit its credible minimum nuclear deterrent doctrine, arguing that what was a deterrent in 1999-2000 may not be credible in today’s situation.

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