Senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader Jaswant Singh is considering contesting as an Independent from Barmer in Rajasthan after he was denied ticket to contest from there.
Mr. Singh’s resistance to the party’s decision became manifest a day after the party had manoeuvred to get L.K. Advani to accept the Gandhinagar seat in Gujarat, reportedly against his wishes.
Cadres unhappy over selection of candidates in several States are up in arms, but the BJP sought comfort in the fact that leaders from other parties continued to flock to it.
Senior leader Arun Jaitley said he was confident that after stitching up an alliance of regional parties in Tamil Nadu, there would be a “positive outcome of the alliance talks in both Seemandhra and Telangana.”
On Friday, the BJP ignored Mr. Singh’s claim over Barmer and named Col. Sonaram Choudhary, a former Congressman, as its candidate, triggering protests by Mr Singh’s supporters in Rajasthan.
Mr. Singh, who has hinted going to the polls as an Independent, maintained a stoic silence, but his supporters, critical of the party, said the BJP was “willing to compromise with regional leaders and defectors at the cost of its own big leaders”.
Mr. Singh’s supporters tore up posters of Narendra Modi in Barmer and Jodhpur. Party sources said Mr. Singh would also consider the political future of his son Manvendra Singh, a BJP MLA in Rajasthan, before deciding his next move.
While the party ignored the protest, it was ecstatic as defectors from the Congress and the JD (U) lined up to join the BJP.
The party got a shot in the arm in Uttarakhand when Congress MP from Pauri Garhwal Satpal Maharaj joined the BJP. In Bihar, Rajya Sabha member N.K. Singh, who resigned from the JD(U), is likely to join the party in the next few days.
While joining the BJP, Mr. Maharaj lamented the lack of development in Uttarakhand — especially after the 2013 floods — under Congress rule.