New Delhi: With the Bharatiya Janata Party already battling dissent as senior party leader Jaswant Singh filed his nomination as an Independent from Barmer, party president Rajnath Singh stirred fresh controversy by first tweeting vote for a BJP government, then changing it to Modi government.
Hoping to ride on the sympathy factor, Jaswant Singh launched a scathing attack on Rajnath Singh and Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, whose choice Colonel Sona Ram Choudhary was named as the party candidate from Barmer seat. Jaswant wanted to contest from his home town Barmer.
Jaswant said, "Rajnath Singh for the second time has had the courtesy to expel me. Not even a peon is treated this way."
The BJP tried to downplay the open revolt of the senior leader in Barmer as the party sensed that any action now would only help Jaswant to escalate the crisis further. Senior party leader Uma Bharti, however, responded.
Uma Bharti said, "He will probably remember that he was the one who announced my removal from the party on the grounds of discipline. When I proclaimed that I am the real BJP, he was the one who opposed it. This is something Jaswant Singh shouldn't forget."
The seat of Barmer has turn into a prestige point for Jaswant Singh on one hand who has thrown his hat in the rung by filing his nomination papers as an Independent candidate and Vasundhara Raje on the other who will be travelling with Colonel Sona Ram.
The trouble within the party was not just confined to Jaswant. The tweet by Rajnath Singh has fuelled confusion by changing tagline 'it's time for BJP' to 'time for Modi'. While earlier Rajnath Singh tweeted, "Time for change, time for BJP. Bahut Hui Mehngai Ki Maar, Abki Baar BJP Sarkar," he later tweeted the official election tagline, "Ab ki baar Modi sarkaar."
BJP's in-charge in Uttar Pradesh Amit Shah defended Rajnath's tweet saying, "There is no confusion. There is no difference between Modi government and BJP government."
The controversy comes just a day after the party had to officially distance itself from the "Har Har Modi slogan" after objections were raised by some Hindu religious leaders.
Congress leader Digvijaya Singh also hit out at the BJP for the slogan and said, "This is nothing but showing disrespect to Lord Mahadev."
For the party which has assiduously built a campaign for more than a year with a definite narrative, these controversies have eruptued just weeks before the first vote to elect the new government is cast.