BARMER: Defying BJP over ticket denial, Jaswant Singh today filed his nomination papers as an independent candidate from Barmer Lok Sabha seat and attacked party president Rajnath Singh and Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, accusing them of “betraying” him.
The betrayal is not with Jaswant Singh alone but with BJP’s principles and ideologies,” he said while addressing supporters after filing his nomination.
Though the 76-year-old leader launched a stinging diatribe against Singh and Raje, he made no mention of party’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi.
As BJP president in 2009, Rajnath Singh had expelled him from party in a manner in which even a “peon” is not sacked, Jaswant Singh said, adding that he got carried away by emotions when he joined back the party.
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.
Congress defector Sonaram Choudhary has been given the BJP ticket from Barmer.
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 honor, not just for my honor, but for the honor of all citizens of Barmer,” he said.–PTI