Barmer, March 24:
Rebel BJP leader Jaswant Singh Monday publicly took on party president Rajnath Singh and Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, accusing them of betraying the BJP’s ideology and turning it into another Congress.
Hurt after being denied the Bharatiya Janata Party ticket to contest the Lok Sabha election from Barmer, Jaswant Singh said it was he who recommended Rajnath Singh and Vasundhara Raje for the posts they currently hold.
“They have betrayed me,” he told a gathering of his supporters after filing his nomination as an independent candidate.
Sounding emotional, Jaswant Singh said he felt extremely “relieved” and sought the support of the people of Barmer, contending it was a question of their honour too.
“The BJP has become like the Congress, indulging in vote-bank politics. It has abandoned its principles and ideology.”
The former external affairs minister dared the BJP to remove him.
A long-time associate of BJP stars Atal Bihari Vajpayee and L.K. Advani, he said that returning to the BJP after his expulsion earlier was a mistake.
“The way I was expelled after the BJP Shimla convention, even a ‘chaprasi’ (peon) isn’t expelled like that,” Jaswant Singh told the rally.
“Perhaps it was an emotional weakness that I joined the BJP again though all my relatives and friends had sought to dissuade me.”
Jaswant Singh, elected to the Lok Sabha in 2009 from Darjeeling in West Bengal, wanted to contest from the Lok Sabha election from Barmer.
But the ticket was given to former Congress leader Sonaram Choudhary, who recently joined the BJP.
Jaswant Singh told IANS Sunday that the BJP will face “repercussions” for treating him shabbily.