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HindustanTimes Thu,02 Oct 2014

Raje blames Jaswant for 2008 defeat in state polls

Mukesh Mathrani  BARMER, March 29, 2014
First Published: 16:17 IST(29/3/2014) | Last Updated: 22:12 IST(29/3/2014)

Chief minister Vasundhara Raje once again hit out at rebel BJP leader Jaswant Singh, directly blaming him for the party's defeat during the 2008 assembly elections in Rajasthan.

Raje was in Barmer on Friday to pay homage to a senior party leader Gangaram Choudhary, who passed away on Wednesday night after a brief illness.

This was the second time in a week when Raje targeted Jaswant Singh, who was denied ticket from Barmer. The ticket has been given to former Congress MLA Sonaram Chowdhary from the seat in his place. Chowdhary had joined the BJP last week.

On Friday, Raje blamed Jaswant Singh for 2008 assembly election defeat while meeting Meghwal community spiritual leader Sambhunath Sailani at 'Chanchal Pragnath Math' on Friday.  The place holds special significance for the community which reportedly draws its political direction from here.

She said she wanted to field Jat leader late Gangaram Choudhary from Barmer assembly seat and had even convinced veteran BJP leader Lal Krishna Advani.

But, it couldn't happen after Jaswant Singh's intervention. Raje said that if Gangaram Choudhary was featured in 2008, the party would surely have won all the seats.

In 2008, both the BJP and the Congress did not get enough majority to form the government. Later, the Congress formed the government with support from independent candidates.

She was accompanied by BJP's candidate from Barmer Sonaram Choudhary, legislature Tarun Kaga, Ladhuram Bishoni, BJP district president Major Parbatsingh.

Earlier, in a veiled attack on Singh during a public meeting after Chowdhary  filed his nomination on Tuesday, she said the BJP was a family and all members should accept the party decision. Singh had blamed Raje and party president Rajnath Singh for betraying him after assuring him a ticket.

"I am contesting on principles and for honour," he had remarked after filing his nomination as independent candidate from Barmer. Earlier, there were reports that senior party leaders were in touch with Singh and his son, Manvendra who is MLA from Sheo, to try and persuade Singh. But with no headway, party sources say Singh is likely to be expelled from the BJP after the last date of withdrawal which is Saturday.


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