Former Union minister Jaswant Singh, who held the portfolios of Finance, Defence and External Affairs, was also expelled from the BJP which took offence to praises he had showered on Mohammad Ali Jinnah and made adverse remarks against Sardar Patel in his book, “Jinnah: India-Partition-Independence”.
The book was banned in Gujarat. Singh, however, was rehabilitated into the party by the then president Nitin Gadkari.
Party sources said Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje also utilised the opportunity to get rid of a parallel power centre. For this, she inducted Singh’s known rival from the Congress, Col Sonaram Choudhary, and successfully pushed for his candidature.
Meanwhile, the flames of dissension among BJP workers over distribution of tickets in Uttar Pradesh could not be doused with party workers turning violent at some places and even attacking their own party offices.
Former BJP MP and senior leader Ram Vilas Vedanti publicly slammed party president Rajnath Singh for “ignoring those who had been associated with the Ram Temple movement” and instead preferring “outsiders”.