Expelled BJP leader Jaswant Singh Sunday accused the party of having “lost sight of its vision and frittered away its virtue for temporary political gain”. Reacting to his expulsion, Jaswant Singh said he was “deeply saddened” over his sacking and said today’s BJP was not the party its leaders like Atal Bihari Vajpayee and L.K. Advani had aspired it to be.
“I am saddened to find that the BJP of today is not the party that Vajpayee, Advani and B.S. Shekhawat had envisioned and aspired it to be,” he said in a statement. “A party that cannot afford its most loyal adherents even the very basic courtesies, puts the petty whims of individuals before the greater good of the people, has certainly lost sight of its vision and frittered away its virtue for temporary political gain,” he said.
“Towards what end, only time can tell,” the former external affairs minister added. Jaswant Singh has filed his nomination as an independent candidate from Barmer in Rajasthan after being denied the Bharatiya Janata Party’s Lok Sabha ticket. The BJP has since expelled him. He said in a statement that it was wrong have given the Barmer ticket to a Congress leader who joined the BJP recently and to cite caste equations to say that Jaswant Singh may not win from Barmer.
“It is destructive to promote such divisions in society, particularly in a border region which has otherwise lived in communal harmony for centuries,” he said. But if the BJP did want someone else to contest from Barmer, why was not a candidate picked from within the BJP, he asked. Jaswant Singh said that as the BJP decision to field a Congress defector “lacks transparency, honesty and courtesy of appropriate communication, I am obliged to question the decision”.
Jaswant Singh said what was at stake in the BJP “are some vital principles of conduct in public life … truth and commitment, probity and accountability and a true and visible balance between values, means and ends. “The election in Barmer-Jaisalmer constituency very sadly exemplifies how these values are being perverted, indeed almost destroyed,” he said.