The BJP, which never forgets to mention the achievements of the previous National Democratic Alliance government, denied tickets to those leaders who had previously held important profiles like defence, external affairs and finance.

Those who were looking after major portfolios in Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led NDA government from 1999 to 2004 are either smarting in fringes or have been sidelined. The party has fielded only LK Advani during the Lok Sabha polls out of four top ministers of Vajpayee regime.

Upset with party’s alleged indifferent behaviour, Jaswant Singh, who was the Defence Minister in Vajpayee’s Cabinet, has turned rebel and is contesting the LS polls from Barmer as an Independent candidate.

Former Minister of State in Defence Ministry Chamanlal Gupta has also been shown the door. However the party reposed faith in O Rajagopal who was inducted into Vajpayee Cabinet as a Minister of State for Defence during last reshuffle in 2003. Rajagopal is contesting from Trivandrum on BJP ticket.

Besides Jaswant Singh, Yashwant Sinha also held defence portfolio. As of now, Sinha has made way for his son Jayant Sinha to contest the Lok Sabha polls from Hazaribagh in Bihar.

Most of the BJP leaders, who were MoS in the key ministries during NDA government, are also not there in the list of candidates for 2014 general elections. Chinmayanand and ID Swami, who were MoS for Home Affairs, have also been sidelined by the party.

The saffron party has replaced Swami, who lost twice from Karnal seat in Haryana. V Dhananjay Kumar, who was MoS in Finance Ministry, is contesting polls on Janata Dal (Secular) ticket instead of BJP from Uddupi in Karnataka. Though ex-Karnataka chief minister BS Yeddyurappa has returned to BJP fold after rebelling, his close aide Dhananjay Kumar switched to JDS.

Besides, popular Bollywood actor Vinod Khanna, who was a MoS for External Affairs is still awaiting ticket from Gurdaspur LS constituency in Punjab.

(JPN/Bureau)

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