JASWANT Singh, a former Defence, Finance and External Affairs Minister, is a very sensitive man. He is fighting his last political battle in Barmer in Rajasthan. He was silently active within the BJP for the last four-five months and could never have dreamed that Narendra Modi and Rajnath Singh would not let him contest as a BJP candidate from Barmer. According to Sushma Swaraj, denying Jaswant a ticket was not decided in the parliamentary board or election committee. But the seeds of discontent between Modi and Jaswant are deep-rooted. The BJP had a national executive meeting in Shimla and at that time Jaswant had just written a book on Jinnah – Jinnah: India, Partition, Independence. Modi was so furious that he banned the book in Gujarat. Jaswant says, “This is the second time I have been betrayed by Rajnath Singh. In 2009, soon after the elections, I was going to attend the party national executive meeting in Shimla, but was stopped midway by Rajnathji, who asked me not to attend. Then he rang me up to say that I have been expelled from the party. I told him, even peons are not dismissed like this. At that time, I was expelled because of my views on Mohammed Ali Jinnah. In my book, I had written that it was Pandit Nehru who moved the Partition resolution in Congress, and Sardar Patel had seconded it. Though nobody in the BJP had read that book, I was expelled.” Nitin Gadkari brought Jaswant back into the BJP fold. It was a great insult to Jaswant but being the gentleman he is, he thought that in a democratic party, one man will not be able to affect his political survival.But political developments proved otherwise. Jaswant was denied a ticket and finally the Thakur of Rajasthan had no recourse but to challenge his party’s decision. Wait and watch for the election results.
VOL. 8, ISSUE 1 | April | 2014