The Telegraph
Monday , March 31 , 2014
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Jaswant hits out at ‘petty whims’

New Delhi, March 30: Jaswant Singh today said the BJP was “not the party” that some of its stalwarts, past and present, had “envisioned” it to be, hitting back after being expelled last night for not withdrawing his nomination as an Independent.

In a statement, he also accused the BJP of putting “petty whims” of individuals over the “greater good”.

“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.

The former Union minister, who was denied a ticket from Barmer, his home district in Rajasthan, said he was “saddened” that the BJP was no longer the party that Atal Bihari Vajpayee, L.K. Advani and the late Bhairon Singh Shekhawat had “envisioned and aspired it to be”.

Jaswant questioned the decision to field Sonaram Choudhary, a recent defector from the Congress, from Barmer, and criticised the BJP for citing “caste equations” as the reason. “I do not subscribe to caste-based politics and never have. For I am convinced that it is destructive to promote such divisions in society, particularly in a border region (Barmer is on the western frontier, adjoining Pakistan) which has otherwise lived in communal harmony for centuries,” he said.

Choudhary is a Jat, a community that accounts for 3.5 lakh of the 16 lakh voters in the constituency. Jaswant, a Rajput, signed off the note saying he remained “committed to the value system of the BJP”.