Barmer (Rajasthan): Senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Jaswant Singh, who is contesting the general elections from Barmer as an Independent, scathingly attacked party chief Rajnath Singh and Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje on Monday, squarely blaming both for denying him a BJP ticket.
Singh said he felt betrayed by both Rajnath Singh and Vasundhara Raje, even though he had supported the two for the posts of BJP president and Rajasthan chief minister respectively.
“I suggested Vasundhara Raje for Chief Minister and Rajnath Singh for President. They have betrayed me. This isn’t just a betrayal for me, but a dictatorship that disregards seniors as well as the workers of the party,” Singh told his supporters here.
“I gave three options for constituencies to the BJP, Barmer was the first option. I have been an MP for nine terms and had told the BJP that these would be my last elections. I had requested that my name be declared early since it is a large constituency, but it was not done in a very planned manner,” he said.
“The ticket was given to someone who had crossed over from Congress. This isn’t my betrayal, BJP workers have been betrayed,” he added.
Singh further said that he was “contesting on principle, and honour – not just my honour, but the honour of all the people of Barmer.
Upset over the denial of a Lok Sabha ticket, Jaswant Singh had earlier in the day filed his nomination papers as an Independent candidate from Barmer.
The 76-year-old leader, who currently represents Darjeeling in the Lok Sabha, had earlier said he “does not want to leave the BJP, but people want him to.”
“I am not doing this. Party workers opinion is that I should do it,” Singh said when asked if he is quitting BJP.
Singh on Sunday said that he is not a furnishing table or chair that the party will keep on changing his place according to their suitability.
“I saw a leader of the party on television saying that they were not able to adjust Jaswant Singh, but now we will adjust him. The views behind these words are full of ego and arrogance. It is very insulting,” Singh said.
“I am not a furnishing table or chair that you will keep on changing my places according to your suitability,” he added.
Calling BJP a divided party, the former union minister had earlier said, “One which is real and the other is unreal or better put original and duplicate. Unfortunately, the duplicate part has the reins of party now.”
The Central Election Committee of the BJP decided on Friday not to give in to Jaswant Singh’s demand/request to grant him a ticket to contest the general elections from Rajasthan’s Barmer District.
The rejection of Jaswant Singh comes soon after another leader L.K. Advani was told that he could only contest from Gandhinagar, instead of his preferred choice of Bhopal.