Deeply saddened by decision to expel me from BJP: Jaswant Singh

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Jaswant Singh has said that he is deeply saddened by the decision to expel him from the BJP. Mr. Singh, 76, was expelled on Saturday for six years for refusing to change his mind about running as an independent candidate for Parliament from Barmer in Rajasthan.

“I am saddened that the BJP of today is not the party that Atal Bihari Vajpayee, LK Advani and Bhairon Singh Shekhawat had envisioned and aspired it to be,” Mr. Singh said in a statement.
“A party that puts the whims of individuals before the greater good of people, has certainly lost its vision,” he added.

Mr. Singh won the last national election from Darjeeling in West Bengal. He said he wanted to relocate to Barmer, where he was born, because he felt he may not contest another election after this one.

The party refused, choosing Col Sonaram Choudhary who switched sides just weeks ago from the Congress to the BJP. The retired army officer is a Jat, the dominant caste in the region. Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje championed his candidature, according to party sources.

Mr. Singh said that he would have supported any candidate with a clean record instead of the Congress defector with a questionable public record. “BJP frittered away its virtue for temporary political gain,” he said adding, “Fight in Barmer is a fight for values.”