Barmer: Defying the party, Jaswant Singh today filed his nomination from Barmer Lok Sabha constituency as an Independent and launched a veiled attack on Narendra Modi saying the “Namo-Namo tamasha” and the decision-making process in BJP shows the “arrogance” of the Emergency era.
He also attacked party president Rajnath Singh and Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, accusing them of “betraying” him and fielding a defector from Congress Col Sonaram Chaudhury.
“The Namo-Namo tamasha, the decision-making process (in BJP) reminds me of 1975. There is more of arrogance and less of taking everyone along,” Singh told a press conference shortly after he filed four sets of nomination papers before the collector, who is also the returning officer.
After deying the party which decided not to give him ticket from Barmer, the 76-year-old leader said it was for the party to decide whether he should continue in it or not. “They can sack me,” he said.
Sounding bitter, Singh, one of the founders of BJP, said the denial of ticket was a “huge humiliation” for workers in the constituency.
“I was informed by Rajnath Singh over telephone it (ticket from Barmer) is not possible,” he said.
“Who are the people who have hurt you? One is the BJP President who has hit me for the second time. The conspiracy was hatched by Vasundhara Raje.
“I say with regret and pain that these two persons have sort of betrayed me, cheated me. The betrayal is not with Jaswant Singh alone but with BJP’s principles and ideologies,” he said while addressing his supporters after filing the nomination.
As BJP president in 2009, Rajnath Singh had expelled him from the party in a manner in which even a “peon” is not sacked, Singh said, adding that he got carried away by emotions when he joined back the party.
He recalled that he had held several portfolios in the Union Cabinet and in experience next only to President Pranab Mukherjee having held portfolios of Defence, Finance, External Affairs at the Centre and had been Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission.
The former Union Minister said he had informed Advani almost 18 months back of his wish to contest his last election from hometown Barmer and then told Rajnath Singh and L K Advani a few weeks back.
“No announcement was made about Barmer in first few meetings (of CEC). I called up Rajnath Singh. He informed me the next day that I won’t be given ticket…. Who was given ticket? Not a BJP worker but somebody who joined BJP from Congress and had been abusing us till recently. I was very hurt,” he said.
Singh recalled his long association with the party’s founder leaders Atal Bihari Vajpayee and L K Advani and lamented its current state of affairs.
“I have taken a step for Barmer. Relief is what I am feeling right now.”
“I am contesting on principles and for honour, not just for my honour, but for the honour of all citizens of Barmer,” he said.