Shekhawat creates flutter, says he will contest polls

January 6th, 2009 - 11:10 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata PartyJaipur/New Delhi, Jan 6 (IANS) Bhairon Singh Shekhawat, former vice-president who had earlier been with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Tuesday created a flutter when he said he would contest the upcoming Lok Sabha elections from his home state of Rajasthan “if people want me to and if health permits.”The octogenarian leader, who is senior to BJP’s prime ministerial hopeful L.K. Advani in the party, told reporters in Jaipur: “If people want me and if my health is fine, I will come back to active politics and contest the elections.”

When asked about Advani being named the party’s prime ministerial candidate, Shekhawat said: “I have no such information. In any case, the prime minister is picked by elected representatives of people.”

To a question if he could also be the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate if he contested the election and won, he said: “I don’t consider myself a prime minister candidate.”

“I am not with any party after I became vice-president. If I contest the polls, it is yet uncertain from which party and constituency I will fight from,” Shekhawat said.

He said the BJP had strayed from its ideology and alleged that the party had selected candidates for the just concluded Rajasthan assembly elections in exchange for huge sums of money.

“Those who describe senior leaders in the party as fossils don’t realise they will also become the same one day,” he said.

Reacting to Shekhawat’s statements, BJP spokesperson Rajiv Pratap Rudy said in New Delhi: “He is a respected senior leader and a true well-wisher of the party. We respect his views.”

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