The induction of controversial Pramod Muthalik into the Karnataka unit of BJP, a decision that was reversed within hours, has left the party’s top leadership red-faced.
Meanwhile, commenting on the decision to deny veteran Jaswant Singh the Barmer ticket, the party’s Amritsar candidate Arun Jaitley on Sunday wrote on his blog that senior leaders should accept the party’s “no” with a smile after having enjoyed privileges and positions in the past.
“At times, the party may flood leaders with privileges and positions. On other occasions, the leader may have to take “no” as an answer to his desires. He must accept the decision with a smile. This becomes a test of his loyalty and discipline,” Jaitley said, without taking the name of either Jaswant Singh or Sushma Swaraj, with whom he had had differences of opinion earlier too over inducting controversial leaders such as B Sriramulu in Karnataka.
“Restraint and silence are always a preferred option. Over-reaction may prove to be a transient storm in a tea cup. Silence is always dignified and more gracious,” he said in his blog, pointing out that many get nominations for elections and others get left out. Jaswant, though, made it clear that he would file his nomination from Barmer on Monday, and it has to be seen if it would be as an independent, clearly placing the onus on the BJP to contact him.
“Yes, I am filing my nomination papers tomorrow from Barmer. Independent or not, will depend on the party’s attitude,” said the 76-year-old, who represented Darjeeling in the 15th Lok Sabha. Soon after the BJP had named Colonel Sonaram Choudhary as the Barmer candidate, rejecting Jaswant’s claim, a section of the BJP workers, owing allegiance to the senior leader, had torn down banners with Modi’s portrait on them.
Amidst rumours that the Congress was keen on inducting him, Jaswant rejected the reports of being approached by the party. However, his son Manvendra Singh sought a month-long leave from the BJP and it was suggested that he had done so to join his father’s poll campaign as an independent candidate. The two leaders from Rajasthan were yet to make up their mind on quitting the BJP, as he had set a 48-hour deadline on Saturday.