Denied ticket, Ashwini Choubey says he is hurt, see a plot - Hindustan Times
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Denied ticket, Ashwini Choubey says he is hurt, see a plot

Apr 15, 2024 09:42 PM IST

The union minister, who won Buxar in 2014 and 2019, has been passed over for Mithilesh Tiwari as BJP candidate from the seat.

Union Minister Ashwini Choubey, 72, was among the three BJP MPs denied Lok Sabha ticket in Bihar this time. He represented Buxar in the Lok Sabha in 2014 and 2019, after being elected MLA from Bhagalpur five times. A veteran in the party and its affiliates for close to six decades, he is upset with the way he has been treated due to what, he feels, might be a result of some conspiracy against him.

Ashwini Choubey. (HT file)
Ashwini Choubey. (HT file)

Yet, he has maintained silence over his next move and not visited Buxar. While the BJP candidate from Buxar, Mithilesh Tiwari, has been describing Choubey as his guardian, the sitting MP’s unease and absence may hurt his cause against the RJD candidate Sudhakar Singh, who is a local and is son of RJD state president Jagdanand Singh.

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Choubey expresses his disappointment not so much on being denied the ticket, as the manner in which he was kept in the dark despite his deep-rooted association with the party and his journey since his first brush with the RSS as the Bal Swayamsevak. Excerpts:

Did you expect you could be denied ticket from Buxar?

No, I was never expecting that, nor did anyone ever hint it to me. I have been part of the core committee that gives tickets to candidates for decades. Getting a party ticket to contest election or not has never been an issue with me, as my party has never given me a reason to feel left out.

Are you disappointed?

Not because of the denial of ticket. The party has given me much more than what I could think of. From my days as RSS Bal Swayamsevak during my student days to the JP movement and to date, it has been close to six decades of spotless and eventful journey, which has taught me a lot through many struggles and even escapes from death. But yes, the way it all happened hurts. There is a hint of conspiracy.

Who could conspire to deny you the ticket?

Time will prove that. Nobody ever discussed with me that the seat would not go to me for such and such reason. I am trying to figure out what must have been the reason. I have also brought it to the notice of high-ups in the party and will wait for their direction. I have told them that I deserve to know why I was denied the ticket. Some people say that I suggested the name of the new candidate, which is also wrong. I never knew what was up behind the curtains at the local level.

Will you file nomination as an independent, as is being speculated?

This is all wrong. Those spreading such stories neither know me nor my association with the party. Till the last breadth, I will be with the BJP. I am bathed in the colour of saffron, which is a symbol of sacrifice. Going against the party is simply out of question and such theories doing the rounds only strengthen my apprehension about a conspiracy. I will do what the party tells me. They have asked me to do my work and forget the rest. I am doing just that.

So, do you still see prospect?

I always see the positive side. My life has been a struggle. As an infant, I struggled to survive, but I did. Ticket is a small thing. I still recall JP’s call against corruption and dynastic politics five decades ago. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is telling the same today. I was in Patna to attend programmes on 50 years of JP movement a week ago. I still recall those days when as a student I was actively involved mobilising students. My parents wanted me to be a doctor, but Govindacharyaji encouraged me to become Pracharak. I have never asked for anything in my life; yet I have got enough. That is all God-ordained.

Will you go to Buxar for campaigning?

I will do whatever my party decides for me. But yes, I cannot leave Buxar and Buxar will not leave me. Buxar is the centre of spiritualism. It is the place that unravelled the might of Ram. It is the place where Saint Vishwamitra worshipped for 10 years and mentored Lord Ram and his brothers at his ashram. I am into a project to get mighty Ram statue installed in Buxar. My association with Buxar runs deep. I am for Buxar and will wait for the direction from my party. Let’s see what God has ordained this time for me.

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