Chari Upset Over Tarun Vijay RS Nomination

New Delhi
Chari Upset Over Tarun Vijay RS Nomination
RSS leader Seshadri Chari has shot off a letter to BJP chief Nitin Gadkari over selection of candidates whose "integrity is questionable" as party nominees in the Rajya Sabha elections.

Chari is upset at the nomination of BJP spokesman Tarun Vijay, former Editor of RSS mouthpiece Panchajanya, a decision which had created a "sense of dismay and despondency" within him.

"It is surprising that the party has chosen to ignore those who have toiled sincerely for years, for its sake, and has chosen to reward those individuals whose integrity is questionable, to say the least, and whose relevance to the BJP's political standing and future prospects is practically nil," he said in a letter sent to Gadkari yesterday.

Though Chari does not name Tarun Vijay, the inference is obvious as he has raised the issue of Rajya Sabha nomination of "one particular individual from the state of Uttarakhand."

Vijay is the BJP candidate for the election to the lone Rajya Sabha seat from the hill state.

Chari, who was incharge of BJP affairs in Uttarakhand, said he resented that "committed" workers like Mohan Singh Gaonwasi and Naresh Bansal were ignored "while rank opportunists and publicity managers are elevated to positions of power and pelf".

When asked, BJP spokesman Ravi Shankar Prasad said he was not aware of Chari's letter and the BJP Parliamentary Board had chosen Vijay after considering his eligibility and work for the party.

In his letter, Chari said that he was writing in his capacity as an individual committed to the Sangh ideology since 1967 and Editor of Organiser, the English language RSS mouthpiece.

Prasad had a tough time fielding questions on the nomination of noted jurist Ram Jethmalani, who had unsuccessfully contested the 2004 Lok Sabha elections from Lucknow against then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

Though he stood as an independent candidate, Jethmalani was supported by the Congress.

The veteran lawyer has earlier argued in Rajya Sabha that the death sentence of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru should be commuted to life imprisonment.

BJP has been accusing the UPA government of not carrying out the death sentence against Afzal for votebank politics and appeasement of minorities.

"Look towards the future," was Prasad's cryptic reply when asked how could BJP overlook Jethmalani's statements against party policies.

Prasad noted that Jethmalani has served as a Union minister in the NDA governments. Jethmalani, an independent MP, joined the BJP-led NDA ministry in 1998 and again in October 1999. However, he quit the Vajpayee government in July 2000.

The BJP spokesman also dismissed suggestions that senior leaders like L K Advani, Yashwant Sinha, Rajnath Singh and Arun Jaitley had skipped a party conference in Mumbai over the weekend due to differences with the leadership.
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