The BJP on Saturday announced the expulsion of senior leader Jaswant Singh and Subhash Mahariya for six years.

The decision comes in the wake of Mr. Singh’s decision to contest as an Independent from Barmer and Mr. Mahariya’s announcement to do the same from Sikar in Rajasthan.

This is the second time the party has taken such action against Mr. Singh. He was earlier expelled in 2009 for praising Mohammad Ali Jinnah, Pakistan’s founding father.

According to sources in the BJP, the party’s constitution allows it to expel members if they contest against its official candidates in elections, or if they drag the party to court over an internal issue. “

Jaswant Singh has exhausted all constitutional options available to the party by deciding not to withdraw from the contest,” a senior leader said in New Delhi.

Mr. Singh has refused to accept the party’s decision to field Col. Sonaram from Barmer and, despite hectic parleys, has not agreed to withdraw his nomination.

Sidhu not to campaign for Jaitley

Mahim Pratap Singh reports from Jaipur:

In Punjab, cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu, who was replaced by Arun Jaitley in the Amritsar constituency, has refused to campaign for the latter.

Mr. Sidhu, serving his third consecutive term as an MP, has been unhappy with the party after he was denied ticket this time.

“Sidhu will not campaign for the party in Punjab. But he will be available for canvassing elsewhere in the country as per the party’s directives,” Navjot Kaur, Mr. Sidhu’s wife, said in a statement.

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