The former Union Minister said he had informed Mr. L.K. Advani almost 18 months back of his wish to contest his last election from his hometown Barmer.
Defying the BJP over ticket denial, Jaswant Singh today filed his nomination papers as an independent candidate from Barmer Lok Sabha constituency and attacked party president Rajnath Singh and Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, accusing them of “betraying” him.
“Who are the people who have hurt you? One is the BJP president who has hit me for the second time. The conspiracy was hatched by Vasundhara Raje. I say with regret and pain that these two persons have sort of betrayed me, cheated me. The betrayal is not with Jaswant Singh alone but with BJP’s principles and ideologies,” he said while addressing supporters after filing his nomination papers.
Though the 76—year—old leader launched a stinging diatribe against Singh and Raje, he made no mention of party’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi.
As BJP president in 2009, Rajnath Singh had expelled him from the party in a manner in which even a “peon” is not sacked, Jaswant Singh said, adding that he got carried away by emotions when he rejoined the party.
The former Union Minister said he had informed Advani almost 18 months back of his wish to contest his last election from hometown Barmer and then told Rajnath Singh a few weeks back.
“No announcement was made about Barmer in the first few meetings (of CEC). I called up Rajnath Singh. He informed me the next day that I won’t be given ticket.... Who was given ticket? Not a BJP worker but somebody who joined the BJP from Congress and had been abusing us till recently. I was very hurt,” he said.
Congress defector Sonaram Choudhary has been given the BJP ticket to contest the Barmer seat.
Singh recalled his long association with the party’s founder-leaders Atal Bihari Vajpayee and L K Advani and lamented its current state of affairs.
“I have taken a step for Barmer. Relief is what I am feeling right now,” he said.
“I am contesting on principles and for honour, not just for my honour, but for the honour of all citizens of Barmer,” he added.