Parrikar mum over Jaswant, who goes 'independent'

PTI, PANAJI & BARMER | 24 March 2014 20:30 IST

Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar today preferred to stay away from commenting over the controversy surrounding BJP leader Jaswant Singh’s exit from BJP.

“He is a national leader. I am merely a state leader,” Parrikar, who is a member of the 16-member committee to decide BJP’s election strategy and campaigning, said here.

“Neither do I subscribe nor do I not subscribe. I don’t want to comment,” the Goa Chief Minister said, when asked to comment on the issue at a press conference.

Parrikar said he would campaign for the BJP wherever he is asked to do.

Jaswant Singh today filed his nomination papers as an independent candidate from the Barmer Lok Sabha seat.

The 76-year-old leader, who was accompanied by some of his supporters, filed his 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 fielded former Congress MLA Sonaram Chowdhry, who joined the BJP last week, from the Barmer seat.

Soon after filing his nomination, Singh 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.

The veteran BJP leader had yesterday made his intentions known, saying he was “not a piece of furniture” to be “adjusted” after the 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 utilised appropriately, Jaswant Singh 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, Singh 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 Singh 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 to be a transient storm in a tea cup. Silence is always dignified and more gracious,” Jaitley had said.

Jaswant Singh’s earlier three terms in the Lok Sabha have been from Jodhpur, Chittorgarh (Rajasthan) and Darjeeling (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.

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Manohar Parrikar is not at all different from a normal politician who rises from streets. If not for his pedigree as a holy (sic) thread bearer and a rabid 'khaki chaddi dharak ' .

He is placed on a high pedestal by his blind followers predominantly from a particular community despite they all know the high moral grounds he stands on.

As far as his political gymnastics on various issues, that can be a separate topic for a thesis.

- rupesh jhalmi, Malbhat Margao | 24 th March 2014 23:08

 

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