Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) veteran Jaswant Singh, who is upset over denial of ticket, on Sunday said he has decided to contest the Lok Sabha elections as an Independent from Rajasthan's Barmer and will file his nomination papers on Monday.
Jaswant Singh filed his nomination from Rajasthan's Barmer constituency as an Independent candidate. (HT Photo)
The 76-year-old leader, who currently represents Darjeeling in Lok Sabha, was overlooked and replaced with former Congressman Col Sonaram Choudhary, a new entrant.
Singh said he would consult his colleagues before taking any decision about resigning from the party.
"Yes, I am filing my nomination papers tomorrow from Barmer. Independent or not, will depend on the party's attitude," he told PTI when asked whether he would contest despite denial of a ticket from his home constituency.
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To a specific query about his resignation in the wake of his 48-hour deadline to BJP, Singh said, "I will speak about this after consulting my colleagues and others in Barmer and then take a decision."
Singh said nobody in the BJP has tried to reach him ever since he set the deadline.
"If I am not emotional about my home and my party, then what am I going to be emotional about... If the party decides to talk to me, they know my numbers and how I can be reached. Since I came here, nobody has tried to reach me," he said on Sunday, putting the onus of preventing his exit on the party.
On BJP chief Rajnath Singh's remarks that his services will be utilised appropriately, he said, "I am not a piece of furniture. The choice of the adjective 'adjust' itself is indicative of the mentality. You cannot adjust with principles and it is insulting".
Slamming the BJP president's remarks that the party will compensate him after the elections, Singh said, "I reject the thought and I reject the mentality behind it. Assumption is that they shall form the government and offer me some throttle. They can keep it for themselves".
He said the "thoughts behind these chain of words are full of arrogance and disrespect".
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On posters of Narendra Modi being torn up by Jaswant Singh's supporters in Rajasthan, the former Union minister said, "If the posters are being torn up, then I think the party has to reflect deeply why is this happening".
Singh said, "Throughout my political life I have worked for the welfare of the party according to what situations demand. I do not approve adjustment politics".
The senior BJP leader had on Saturday attacked the party leadership for denying him a ticket and said one needs to distinguish between the "real" and the "fake" BJP.
"We have to differentiate between the real and fake BJP… One has to reflect on the principles the party stood for and the direction in which it is being led now," he said.
"It is unfortunate the BJP has been taken over by elements who have never respected the party's ideology."
He has been demanding a party ticket from his home constituency of Barmer, saying this is his last election.
He represented the Darjeeling constituency in the outgoing Lok Sabha, from where the party has nominated former Rajya Sabha member SS Ahluwalia.
Singh was a senior minister in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led NDA government in which he held important portfolios of external affairs, defence and finance.
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Meanwhile, Manvendra Singh, Jaswant Singh's son, who is currently an MLA in the Vasundhara Raje-led government in Rajasthan, has also indicated that he might follow in his father's footsteps.
According to reports, Manvendra will not attend the meet called by Raje.
Reports also said he has cited medical reasons and sought a month's leave from the party.
When contacted by PTI, Manvendra rejected reports he has written to the BJP about the current situation.
"I have not written to the party and I have informed the party that I am stressed out and need some rest," he said.