"There is only heatwave in Barmer, no Modi wave"

Expelled BJP leader Jaswant Singh says he feels swatantra (free) outside the party fold and is not likely to bury the hatchet.

Speaking to the media here on Friday, Mr. Singh, said it was the BJP which compelled him to leave the party. “I will not return to the BJP. I have been expelled twice,” he said, blaming Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje and party president Rajnath Singh for denial of ticket to him.

“Murli Manohar Joshi said this decision [denying a ticket] was wrong and it was taken by the Chief Minister and party president.” Mr. Singh said he was not thinking of floating a new party.

He denied the existence of any wave in favour of the BJP prime ministerial candidate. “There is only heatwave in Barmer [in Rajasthan, where Mr. Singh is in the fray as Independent], no Modi wave.”

Drawing a comparison between the former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s leadership and the present BJP leadership, Mr. Singh said: “I had the honour of working with a team led by Mr. Vajpayee who enjoyed the confidence of his Cabinet. I don’t see that happening in the renewed National Democratic Alliance. I am happier to remain swatantra.”

Targeting Mr. Modi, he said the BJP had now become a “one man party” but during Mr. Vajpayee’s time there was no “coterie” chosen by one person.

“The BJP has not had, even in Vajpayee’s time, a single man leadership. Currently, there is either one-man leadership or it is confined to a small coterie chosen by one personality. That is a choice which the BJP has made for itself.”

On the ongoing general election, Mr. Singh said it “is more about political rhetoric, there is no discussion on ideas and issues which will have an impact on our country. Rhetoric is replacing logic and the level of discussion is very low.”

He described as “grossly unjust” the BJP’s action against his son, Manvendra Singh, for campaigning for him during the elections. Manvendra was sacked from the BJP’s National Executive on April 10.