Bringing differences in BJP's top leadership out in the open, senior leader Sushma Swaraj yet again opposed a decision of the party, this time the denial of ticket to veteran Jaswant Singh from Barmer.
She made it clear today that the Barmer decision was "not taken" by the party's Central Election Committee and she was "pained" at the step. "As far as the issue of Jaswant Singhji is concerned, it was a decision of the party. It was not a normal decision.
Such type of unusual decisions (Asaadharan nirnay) are not taken without any reasons. There must be some reason because this is the ticket which was not decided by the election committee. "It was decided later. There must be some reason, but personally I am pained with this," Swaraj told reporters in Bhopal when asked about the Jaswant issue.
Earlier on a similar issue, she openly opposed the party's decision to allow the entry of BSR Congress Chief B Sreeramulu into the party fold and give him a ticket from Bellary Lok Sabha seat.
BJP Spokesperson Sudhanshu Trivedi downplayed the Jaswant issue saying, "BJP owes its respect to him for the contribution he has made to the NDA and the country." On the denial of party ticket to Jaswant, he said, "The Central Election Committee has taken care of all issues before deciding on a candidate." "It will be unfair to make a comparison of their tall stature and their contribution with merely a party ticket," Trivedi told reporters in Delhi.
He said the old BJP leaders who built the party from the grassroots from merely two MPs to a formidable force today which is being projected as an alternative at the Centre, "served the party selflessly without any returns in mind." Angry over denial of ticket to him in the Lok Sabha elections, Jaswant today attacked the BJP leadership, saying there was need to differentiate between "real" and "fake" BJP as whatever was happening in the party now was not in line with its ideology.
The 76-year-old leader, who currently represents Darjeeling in Lok Sabha, maintained suspense over whether he would contest an an Independent from Barmer seat which has been given by BJP to recent entrant from Congress Sonaram Choudhry. He is likely to announce his decision in Barmer on March 24. "We have to differentiate between the real and fake BJP. What is happening now is the difference between real and fake. One has to reflect upon the principles for which the party stood and the direction in which it is being led now," he told reporters in New Delhi.