New Delhi, March 30 IANS | 8 months ago

Veteran leader Jaswant Singh was Saturday expelled from the BJP after he refused to withdraw his nomination as an independent from Rajasthan's Barmer parliamentary constituency, party sources said Saturday.

He has been expelled for six years.

Singh was upset over ex-Congress leader Sona Ram Choudhary being given the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ticket from Barmer, his home turf, and filed his nomination as an independent Monday, daring the party to sack him. "I will not say goodbye till the party says goodbye," he said.

The party leaders had indicated they were waiting to see if he withdraws his nomination. However, as the last day for withdrawal ended Saturday with Jaswant Singh still in the fray, the decision to expel him was taken.

Jaswant Singh has maintained that no party leader approached him over the issue.

He had earlier been expelled from the party in 2009 over his book on Mohammad Ali Jinnah, but was taken back in 2010. On Monday, he 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."

He represents Darjeeling in 15th Lok Sabha, a seat now being contested by S.S. Ahluwalia.

The veteran leader held many portfolios in the national cabinet including finance, external affairs and defence during the NDA regime (1998 to 2004).

(Posted on 30-03-2014)

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