Barmer, Mar 24 (PTI): Jaswant Singh, the veteran Bharatiya Janata Party leader, on Monday filed his nomination papers as an independent candidate from the Barmer Lok Sabha seat following a break with his party for not being allowed to chose his constituency.
Jaswant, 76, accompanied by some of his supporters, filed the nomination papers in four sets in the Collector's office.
The former Union Minister decided to contest the Lok Sabha elections as an independent after the BJP decided to give the Barmer seat to former Congress legislator Sonaram Chowdhry, who joined the BJP last week.
Soon after filing his nomination, Jaswant said “I have taken a step for Barmer. Relief is what I am feeling right now.”
“I am contesting on principles and for honour, not just for my honour, but for the honour of all citizens of Barmer,” he said.
Jaswant had made his intentions known on Sunday, saying he was “not a piece of furniture” to be ”adjusted” after polls and warned that the party will have to suffer the consequences of internal strife coming to the fore ahead of the Lok Sabha polls.
Training his guns on BJP president Rajnath Singh, who said the leader's services will be used appropriately, Jaswant had retorted, “I am not a piece of furniture. The choice of the adjective 'adjust' itself is indicative of the mentality. You cannot adjust with principles and it is insulting”.
Slamming the BJP President's remarks that the party will compensate him after the elections, Jaswant had said, “I reject the thought and I reject the mentality behind it. Assumption is that they shall form the government and offer me some throttle. They can keep it for themselves”.
BJP leader Arun Jaitley had said that Jaswant should accept the decision with a smile.
”He must accept the decision with a smile. This becomes a test of his loyalty and discipline. Restraint and silence are always a preferred option. Over-reaction may prove be a transient storm in a tea cup. Silence is always dignified and more gracious,” Jaitley had said.
Jaswant’s earlier three terms in the Lok Sabha have been from Jodhpur and Chittorgarh (both in Rajasthan) and Darjeeling in West Bengal.
He has been demanding a party ticket from his home constituency of Barmer, saying this is his last election. He represented the Darjeeling constituency in the outgoing Lok Sabha, from where the party has nominated former Rajya Sabha member S S Ahluwalia.