‘It hurts... hint of a conspiracy’: Ashwini Choubey on being denied BJP ticket - Hindustan Times

‘It hurts... hint of a conspiracy’: Ashwini Choubey on being denied BJP ticket

Apr 15, 2024 01:07 PM IST

In an interview with HT, Union minister Ashwini Choubey says he was kept in the dark by the BJP despite his deep-rooted association with the party

Union minister Ashwini Choubey, one of the three Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) members of Parliament (MPs) who have been denied Lok Sabha ticket in Bihar, has said that he was hurt by the manner in which the party took the decision against his favour. In an interview with HT, Choubey, 72, says he was kept in the dark on the matter despite his deep-rooted association with the party. Edited excerpts:

Union minister Ashwini Chaubey. (File)
Union minister Ashwini Chaubey. (File)

Did you expect that you could be denied ticket from Buxar?

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No, I was never expecting that, nor did anyone give a hint to me about it. I have been part of the core committee that gives tickets to candidates for decades. Getting a party ticket to contest election has never been an issue with me and my party has never given me a reason to feel left out. My association with the party goes much beyond that and I have been through various ups and downs, but every time I emerged stronger.

Are you disappointed?

Not because of the denial of ticket. The party has given me much more than I could think of. It has been close to six decades of an eventful journey from the days of my association with the RSS Bal Swayamsevak during my student days. It has taught me a lot through many struggles and even escapes from death. Having had the opportunity to learn from the likes of Govalkarji and Govindacharyaji, I embrace struggle, taking everything as God-ordained. But yes, the way it all happened hurts, as there is a hint of conspiracy.

Who could conspire to deny you the ticket?

Time will prove that. I don’t need to speak. The fact is simple - 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 higher-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 and those fanning such stories neither know me nor my association with the party. Till the last breath 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 the question and such theories doing the rounds only strengthen my apprehension about conspiracy. I will do what the party will tell me. They have asked me to do my work and forget the rest. I am doing just that.

So, do you still see prospects?

I have always seen the positive side and only got stronger with each struggle. My life has been a struggle. Ticket is a small thing. I still recall JP (Jayapakash Narayan)’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 in 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. I will take whatever comes my way.

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 a 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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    Arun Kumar is Senior Assistant Editor with Hindustan Times. He has spent two-and-half decades covering Bihar, including politics, educational and social issues.

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