Shekhawat concerned with ‘political degeneration’ of BJP

January 8th, 2009 - 3:29 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata PartyNew Delhi, Jan 8 (IANS) Two days after creating a flutter in the BJP by announcing his decision to contest the elections, former vice president Bhairon Singh Shekhawat Thursday alleged corruption in the party and declared that he did not “bother” about party president Rajnath Singh.The veteran Bharatiya Janata Party leader, who fuelled speculation about his being in the race for the prime ministerial candidature of the party when he stated Tuesday in his home state Rajasthan that he would fight the Lok Sabha elections, intensified the war of words.

He told reporters here that he was more concerned with “corruption and political degeneration” of the party and reiterated his allegation that the party’s tickets for the Dec 4 Rajasthan assembly elections were sold.

Shekhawat said he had also written a letter to Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot urging him to inquire into allegations by the ruling Congress party of corruption of a whopping Rs.32,000 crore (Rs.320 billion) by the BJP’s Vasundhara Raje government.

“This money belongs to the people of the state and there should be an inquiry in it. The Congress made this allegations, it should inquire into it,” Shekhawat said.

Asked about BJP president Rajnath Singh’s Wednesday statement that a person who had held a constitutional post once could not contest elections, Shekhawat asked: “Which law says that?”

“I don’t bother about Rajnath Singh,” he said when his attention was drawn to the latter’s statement that those “who have had a holy dip in the Ganges, don’t bathe in a well”.

Rajnath Singh had suggested that having been the vice president of the country, Shekhawat should not talk of contesting general elections.

Responding to a question if he would be the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate if he won the elections, the veteran leader said: “I never said that.”

When told that he was the seniormost leader of the BJP, he said: “Yes, age-wise I am elder to Atalji (former prime minister A.B. Vajpayee) also. I am 86, he is 83 and Advani is 80.”

To further questions, he said: “I have no objection (to Advani being the prime ministerial candidate).”

He added that after becoming the vice-president, he did not belong to any party.

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