The 76-year-old leader, who currently represents Darjeeling in Lok Sabha, maintained suspense over whether he would contest as an independent from Barmer seat which has been given by BJP to recent entrant from Congress Sonaram Choudhry. He is likely to announce his decision in Barmer on March 24. JPN/Agencies
"We have to differentiate between the real and fake BJP. What is happening now is the difference between real and fake. One has to reflect upon the principles for which the party stood and the direction in which it is being led now," he told reporters.
Singh, one of the founders of BJP, said it was important for the subscribers of the philosophy of BJP to know who has "encroached and what are their gains", in an attack on the leadership without taking names.
The former Union Minister is considered close to party veteran LK Advani and there is speculation that Narendra Modi backed Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhra Raje's stand on the issue of Barmer ticket.
"The party has done this to me twice now and now there is no chance of accepting any alternative proposal," he said in comments that came as party President Rajnath Singh and senior leader Arun Jaitley spoke of utilizing Singh's services in an appropriate manner.
He recalled the contributions of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and LK Advani in building the party and wondered where the party is going now.
A close associate of Vajpayee as well as Advani, whose influence has also waned in the party, he said it is important for the subscribers of the philosophy of BJP to know who has "encroached" on it.
"They should ask where is the party going."
Singh, who would be reaching Barmer on Sunday, refused to disclose his plans on whether he would be filing his nomination as an independent.
"Everything will be decided only after I reach Barmer and have a discussion with my supporters," he said.
Referring to the denial of ticket to him and the "disregarding" of other senior leaders in the party, Singh said that "this party of ideology is tragically being encroached upon by those, who have been arch detractors of BJP’s ideology."
"It is so unfortunate that the BJP has been completely taken over by the elements (outsiders), who never have any respect for party's ideology", he said.
Opposing giving tickets to those who have recently joined the party either as defectors or as new entrants in politics, Singh remarked sarcastically that "for them it is easy to have a BJP ticket than to have a rail or a flight."
His earlier three terms in Lok Sabha have been from Jodhpur, Chittorgarh (Rajasthan) and Darjeeling (West Bengal). Singh turned emotional as he spoke of his "pain" but made it clear that he does not want to do the "politics" of emotions.
Issue of Jaswant Singh is a top level matter: Sonaram Chowdhry
Meanwhile, Sonaram Chowdhry made it clear that he had the support of Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje but evaded queries on Jaswant Singj, saying the issue will be handled by seniors.
"The issue of Jaswant Singh is a top level matter and I am a new entrant in BJP. I cannot comment on this. It is for the Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje and other seniors to handle. She showed faith in my calibre and I will prove my mettle," Sonaram said.
Sonaram, who lost the state assembly election last year as a Congress candidate, said, "I am confident that I will win by an impressive majority. There are local issues pertaining to development which I will be taking up and focusing on during campaigning. There is impact of Modi wave in Rajasthan too and the government formed by the BJP will provide people relief and also development and growth."
A Jat leader, Sonaram had been vocal against former chief minister Ashok Gehlot and his functioning.
"I have been a critic of Ashok Gehlot as he promoted leaders who had no ground. He sidelined seniors in the state which resulted in unprecedented debacle in assembly elections. The way he mishandled the project of oil refinery is a known by all," he said.
Sonaram said that he explained the situation to Congress high command several times but no action against anyone was taken. "Because of the sorry state of affairs in Congress, I joined BJP with a new hope," he said.
The 76-year-old leader, who currently represents Darjeeling in Lok Sabha, maintained suspense over whether he would contest as an independent from Barmer seat which has been given by BJP to recent entrant from Congress Sonaram Choudhry. He is likely to announce his decision in Barmer on March 24.