Training his guns on BJP president Rajnath Singh who said that the leader’s services will be utilised appropriately, Jaswant Singh had snapped, “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”. He made his move clear and walked out of the party. BJP prefers conspirators over their own pillars of strength. ‘A party with a difference’ not expected to go the way its arch rival ‘grand old party’ has been going. Suitable alternate party people ever trusted is AAP, initially they did take high moral standw but recent ticket distribution has shown that they are also no different from other parties. Politics is just politics – parties are desperate only to raise head count over nurturing intellect.
Challenging the BJP over ticket denial, Jaswant Singh filed his nomination papers as an independent candidate from Barmer Lok Sabha seat. The 76-year-old leader, who was escorted by his supporters, filed the nomination papers in four sets in the collector’s office. There are many leaders hurt in BJP; many were denied tickets to please outsiders. He decided to contest the Lok Sabha elections as an independent after the BJP fielded former Congress MLA Sonaram Chowdhry, who last week joined BJP from the Barmer seat. Singh’s earlier three terms in Lok Sabha have been from Jodhpur, Chittorgarh (Rajasthan) and Darjeeling (West Bengal). He has been demanding a party ticket from his home constituency of Barmer, saying this will be his last election. He represented the Darjeeling constituency in the outgoing Lok Sabha, from where the party has nominated former Rajya Sabha member S.S. Ahluwalia.
Another BJP leader, distressed over being denied a ticket, former Union Minister and vice president of BJP Kisan Morcha Subhash Maharia also decided to contest as an Independent from Sikar constituency in Rajasthan. His announcement comes close to party veteran Jaswant Singh’s decision to fight as an independent from Barmer after being denied a party ticket.
Some critics of Jaswant say, the present BJP did a right thing in refuting ticket to Jaswant, as he and Vajpayee had jointly taken the decision to release Maulana Masood Azhar and take him in a royal way to the place of the hijacked passenger aircraft. Especially Jaswant, being an ex- service man, should not have escorted the terrorist who till today is troubling India with the help of Pakistan. But that time going to Pakistan and appealing for peace making was the dire need of the hour. However, it is wrong that BJP is abusing its own leaders and welcoming all sorts of goons from other party rebellions and rewarding them with the ticket.
Indian leaders, regardless of their party affiliations and principles, want to contest from safe constituencies as if they own them. They give the impression that they cannot influence with their sage advice but need power and authority forever. This is a sad state of affairs in the country. Ignoring Jaswant Singh was a big mistake, putting up a defector from the ruling party BJP is showing they have no moral binding and are opportunists for the sake of few seats. The party will be divided at least in that constituency and one seat will be lost. BJP seems over confident about winning as it was in 2004. Senior members must be taken into full confidence on ticket distribution. An outsider, who had joined the party recently, was given the ticket while senior people who had worked for more than 30 years have been brushed aside. I agree that this ‘horse-trading’ do take place and no party is an exception to this.
Looking at present conditions in BJP, I can see a new party emerging as BJP(I) independent.