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BJP Expels Jaswant Singh; Who’s Next?

Senior BJP leader Jaswant Singh addresses a press conference after filing his nomination from Barmer as independent candidate in Barmer on March 24, 2014. (Photo: Ravi Shankar Vyas/IANS)

Senior BJP leader Jaswant Singh addresses a press conference after filing his nomination from Barmer as independent candidate in Barmer on March 24, 2014. (Photo: Ravi Shankar Vyas/IANS)

For the second time, BJP veteran leader Jaswant Singh was expelled from the BJP after he refused to withdraw his nomination as an independent from Rajasthan’s Barmer parliamentary constituency, party sources said on Saturday.

He has been expelled for six years. Last time he was expelled in 2009 over his book on Mohammad Ali Jinnah, but was taken back in 2010.

“I will not say goodbye till the party says goodbye,” he said. The party obliged and said “good bye” to him for the second time.

Now the focus will be on Sushma Swaraj, who supported Jaswant Singh throughout and LK Advani, who is expressively unhappy with his Gandhinagar seat. Sushma was able to stop Karnataka mining lobby Reddy Brothers from returning to BJP but could not stop their protege B. Sriramulu from being accepted and given a seat to contest again.

The subtle undercurrents of displeasure within BJP is another indication that the old guard is loosing its stream, and Sushma and even LK Advani will be sidelined soon in the run for the BJP’s return to power under Narendra Modi.

Jaswant Singh on Monday had said it was a mistake to rejoin the BJP, especially after the way he had been expelled.

“Perhaps it was an emotional weakness that I joined the BJP again though all my relatives and friends had sought to dissuade me.”

Jaswant Singh was in the national cabinet of AB Vajpayee holding top ministries such as finance, external affairs and defence during the NDA regime (1998 to 2004).

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