Party Hasn't Sidelined Seniors: Naidu
Rejecting reports alleging differences in the party over denial of ticket to party veterans like Jaswant Singh for the upcoming Lok Sabha election, senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader M Venkaiah Naidu on Sunday said that there was no question of sidelining any senior leader, including veteran L K Advani.
Addressing reporters on the sidelines of South Chennai Bharatiya Janata Party candidate L Ganesan’s campaign here, he said: “There are no differences within the BJP. The party is united. There is no question of sidelining anybody. How can anybody think of sidelining a person like Advani, who is towering personality in Indian politics. He will continue to guide us. Party needs him and country needs him… Advaniji was given a choice for his constituency. He has chosen Gandhinagar.”
On Jaswant Singh’s decision to contest as independent from Barmer, Rajasthan, Naidu said the senior leader might have made some remarks because he did not get the ticket.
“I wish Jaswantji does not do anything like that. The party has always respected him and holds him in the highest regard. Party sent him to Rajya Sabha. Party made him the Finance Minister and later made him the External Affairs Minister. So, there is no question of sidelining him as well,” the leader said.
Meanwhile, describing Singh’s statement as “understandable”, Venkaiah Naidu said that he did not want to join issue with him.
Naidu also dismissed speculation that BJP’s prime ministerial nominee Narendra Modi was intervening in selecting candidates for the party.
“It is the party, which selects candidates not any individual..he [Modi] rarely intervenes… you may have a view but at the end of the day everybody must abide by the decision of the party. Once the party takes the decision, you must respect it,” the senior BJP leader added.