Barmer: The Bharatiya Janata Party this election season is facing major rebellion from its senior leaders. All eyes are on Barmer where senior leader Jaswant Singh faces expulsion if he does not withdraw his nomination as an Independent from his home town.
Barmer is locked in a three-corner electoral battle between Jaswant Singh as an Independent candidate, Col Sonaram from the BJP and Harish Choudhary, the sitting MP from the Congress. The political action in Barmer is gaining steam after Jaswant Singh filed his nomination papers as an Independent candidate after being denied a ticket from home turf.
With the split in the BJP wide open, after support for Singh's show of strength, it's now Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, who, after throwing her weight behind BJP candidate Col Sonaram, is on the campaign trail with him to contain the sympathy Singh has garnered. "This is now a question of our moustache, it is a matter of prestige, we must guard it," she says.
For Jaswant Singh, MP from Darjeeling, BJP's turning down his request for a ticket from home turf for his last election has worked favourably. What adds insult to the injury for Singh is the choice of Col Sonaram, former Congressman, right after he crossed over to BJP.
"If you think this is indeed an insult then it's not just my insult, it's the insult of this land and its people. And if you think so too then we must give it back to them with an insult," Singh said.
With a divided BJP struggling to keep its house in order on geographically the country's largest seat Barmer, the question is whether the Congress stands to gain here.