In a major development, the Bharatiya Janata Party on Friday denied former union minister Jaswant Singh Lok Sabha ticket from Barmer in Rajasthan.
The party has decided to instead field Col Sonaram, an ex-Congress legislator from the region.
Jaswant Singh, a sitting Lok Sabha MP from Darjeeling in West Bengal, this time wanted to contest the elections from Barmer in Rajasthan.
“I have done a lot for Darjeeling. I have done all that I could for Darjeeling. I wanted to contest my last election from my native place,” Singh said.
Singh had earlier said that if denied BJP ticket from Barmer, he will contest as an independent. He is now likely to file his nomination on March 24.
Barmer is Singh’s native place as his village Jasol falls in the district. His son Manvendra Singh has also fought elections twice from there.
Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje had been in favour of making Col Sonaram contest from Barmer ever since he joined the BJP. Raje believes the Jat leader has a better chance at winning as the constituency has a large Jat population.
The development came a day after the BJP, with help from the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, managed to cajole veteran LK Advani into contesting from the Gandhinagar Lok Sabha constituency. Advani had expressed his desire to contest from Bhopal.