Jaswant Singh denied ticket from Barmer

BJP leader to contest as independent candidate

Jaswant Singh denied ticket from Barmer

Continuing to signal its discomfort with first generation leaders, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Friday snubbed sitting Darjeeling MP Jaswant Singh. The party denied him ticket to contest from his family constituency of Barmer, Rajasthan.

The BJP, instead, gave the ticket to Congress defector Col Sonaram Choudhary, inducted into the party at the behest of Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje. 

Choudhary, however, has represented the constituency earlier, but the Congress denied him a ticket in 2009. “Jaswant Singh is very senior. We will pacify him,” said Col Choudhary. An upset Singh, who had moved out of Darjeeling to his native state of Rajasthan, is going to contest from Barmer as an Independent candidate. BJP sources said that he has already bought the nomination form and is going to Barmer on Sunday to meet his supporters. Singh failed to pull strings in the party to get a seat of his choice, unlike his sulking senior L K Advani who had to publicly exploit his unease with Gujarat chief minister and the party’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi to ensure his electoral contest from Gandhinagar is “safe”. 

His contemporary, M M Joshi, too, had to bow down to Modi’s wish by relocating to Kanpur from Varanasi.

The Rajput leader is also considered to be on the wrong side of Modi as well as with Raje. BJP sources said Singh was not only against the elevation of Modi as the party’s poll mascot, but he was one of the senior ministers in the NDA regime who was in agreement with the then prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee for removal of Modi as chief minister of Gujarat for the 2002 Godhra riots. Only Advani had opposed the move.

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