Leader Exodus Continues in BJP, Jaswant Files Papers

Dares party to sack him; two more disenchanted leaders to contest as independents

Published: 25th March 2014 08:15 AM  |   Last Updated: 25th March 2014 08:16 AM   |  A+A-

The BJP has more trouble at hand. After being “insulted” by the party’s denial of a Lok Sabha ticket, veteran party leader Jaswant Singh on Monday filed his nomination as an independent candidate from Barmer in Rajasthan.

Singh hit out at party president Rajnath Singh for “betraying him” and said the chants of “NaMo NaMo” remind him of the 1975 Emergency.

As controversy over seat distribution raged on within the saffron party, former MP Lal Muni Chaubey and former union minister Subhash Maharia too threatened to contest against party candidates as independents.

After filing his nomination, a visibly-upset Jaswant Singh said, “I feel very sad on being betrayed by a few people in the BJP. I was the one who had suggested Vasundhara Raje for chief minister and Rajnath Singh for party president.”

He said Raje had hatched a conspiracy to alienate him and Rajnath had jumped at the opportunity.  

Now that he has officially filed his papers, BJP will be forced to take action against him. But Singh said the party can sack him if it wants.  BJP has given former Congress leader Sonaram Choudhary the Barmer ticket. 

Singh also said the new “personality worship” phenomenon within the party will ruin it. “There is more of arrogance and less of taking everyone along now,” he said. He also expressed regret at having re-joined BJP after he was expelled in 2009 over his book on Muhammad Ali Jinnah. 

“I was unceremoniously ousted from the party without any intimation. Gadkari and Advani had asked me to re-join the party but my family was not keen on it. Not even a peon will be treated the way as I was,” Singh said. 

Apart from him, senior party leader and four-time MP Lal Muni Chaubey, who was denied a ticket from Buxar in Bihar, also announced that he would contest as an independent.

Chaubey said, “BJP has become a party of slaves... and Rajnath Singh is the president of slaves.”

Former union minister Subhash Maharia said  he would contest as an independent from Sikar constituency in Rajasthan. BJP has given the Buxar and Sikar tickets to Ashwani Chaubey and Swami Sumedhanand respectively. This had miffed the veteran leader.

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