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Jaswant Singh defiant, to file nomination as Independent from Barmer today

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Jodhpur/New Delhi: Upset over denial of Lok Sabha ticket, senior BJP leader Jaswant Singh may file his nomination papers from Barmer as an Independent on Monday, triggering concerns for the central leadership, which is trying to keep the party intact.

A sulking Singh yesterday dared his party and said that he is “not a piece of furniture” to be “adjusted” after polls.

He has warned that the party will have to suffer the consequences of internal strife coming to the fore ahead of the Lok Sabha polls.

Back channel efforts were underway to bring him around, BJP sources said, but the veteran leader showed no signs of relenting.

Training his guns on BJP president Rajnath Singh who said the 76-year-old leader’s services will be utilised appropriately, Jaswant Singh 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 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”.

Jaswant Singh is, however, not resigning from the party yet and said he would consult his colleagues before taking that decision.

“Yes, I am filing my nomination papers Monday from Barmer. Independent or not, will depend on the party’s attitude,” he told reporters when asked whether he would contest despite denial of a ticket from his home constituency.

On the specific query about his resignation in the wake of his 48-hour deadline to the BJP, the party stalwart said, “I will speak about this after consulting my colleagues and others in Barmer and then take a decision.”

“If I am not emotional about my home and my political party, then what am I going to be emotional about…If the party decides to talk to me, they know my numbers and how I can be reached. Since I came here, nobody has tried to reach me,” he said today, putting the onus of preventing his exit on the BJP.

In indications that that there will be no reversal of decision, party leader Arun Jaitley said when a senior leader is not accommodated for some reasons, that is when his discipline and political loyalty are to be tested.

“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 said.

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