M A I N   N E W S

Ignored veterans sulk, BJP fights dissent
Jaswant attacks leadership over Barmer seat
Sena angry over raw deal to Advani
Vibha Sharma
Tribune News Service

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
Jaswant Singh, bjp veteran

Sushma unhappy

Senior leader Sushma Swaraj on Saturday went public with her displeasure on the way party veteran Jaswant Singh has been treated. Swaraj said she was saddened by the party decision to ignore the Rajasthan leader. His candidature was not discussed in the Central Election Committee, she said.

Advani aide denied ticket

The BJP has denied ticket to LK Advaniís aide Harin Pathak from the Ahmedabad East constituency. The party has decided to field actor Paresh Rawal in place of the sitting MP.

New Delhi, March 22
Jaswant Singh has known his party and the company he keeps. Yet, so little did he know: the BJP he knew for decades denied him the party nomination from Barmer, his native place in Rajasthan. Today, the maudlin party veteran talked of the "real" and "fake" BJP being "encroached upon."

On the other hand, his party today welcomed into its fold some known faces such as journalist MJ Akbar and JD-U's NK Singh, a one-time confidante of Bihar CM Nitish Kumar. Jaswant's "disillusionment" came only two days after party patriarch LK Advani was forced to fall in line over his Gandhinagar seat. The fact that the BJP is being seen as the front-runner in these elections, analysts as well as party insiders believe that it's all something to do with the party's internal dynamics triggered by election exigencies. Or is there a BJP Plan-B?

Analyse this: Sushma Swaraj is angry at the way Jaswant has been treated. Another Advani acolyte Harin Pathak too has been left out from Ahmedabad East constituency. And ally Shiv Sena is chagrined by BJP's overtures towards Raj Thackeray-led MNS.

Party sources say it is not the question of one or two seats, but the way the situation is unfolding. Analysts are not dismissing as a coincidence the recent entry of Satpal Maharaj, NK Singh, RK Singh and Sushil Kumar Singh. The common thread is they belong to a community of which BJP president Rajnath Singh is also a member. So, the feeling in a section of the party is in case the BJP under Narendra Modi does not make it beyond the 200-mark, there will have to be a leader who enjoys the maximum support within the party. That's where Rajnath Singh fits in, or so it seems.

Right now, there are only feeble signs of discontent within the party: Angry supporters of party's original members reportedly clashed with those who had been accommodated. In Barmer, Jaswant's supporters vandalised Modi's posters and locked the party office. Apparently alluding to the wheels within wheels, but without taking names, Jaswant asked subscribers of the "BJP philosophy" to find out who had "encroached" on it. "One has to reflect upon the principles for which the party stood and the direction in which it is being led now," he said.





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