New Delhi: Senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha on Wednesday night criticised the different yardsticks for different leaders when it came to choosing the party's Rajya Sabha nominees and mocked the concept of 'margdarshak mandal', to which veterans have been relegated.
Sharing the dais with LK Advani, a member of the margdarshak mandal, at the launch of party MP Shatrughan Sinha's biography, the former union minister referred to different standards, saying they were akin to "show me the person, I will show you the rule".
With Advani smiling, Sinha also made a sarcastic reference to the "margdarshak mandal", saying it is a "select club" of which he was not a member and that it never meets.
Again dripping with sarcasm, he said people like him who are above 75 years of age are "brain dead" even though "I am strenuously trying to prove that I am not brain dead". He was apparently referring to the decision to not give any ministerial post to those above 75.
Union ministers Harsh Vardhan and V K Singh, suspended BJP MP Kirti Azad besides Congress leaders Digvijay Singh and Randeep Surjewala and former MP Amar Singh were among those who attended the event. Advani offered "apology" to Shatrughan Sinha who in his book has blamed the veteran leader for the party's decision to not send him to the Rajya Sabha for a third time and instead pitting him as a candidate in the Lok Sabha election in 2009 which he went on to win.
"My own feeling is because at that point of time there was a general practice of sending a person to the Rajya Sabha twice at the most. There are some people who can be identified as saying that in his case it will not be easy for him to win a Lok Sabha (election). "Because that person is not so familiar with the general people as to be elected just on the basis of a party.
This is always one consideration that who is popular and likely to be elected to the Lok Sabha is generally not given a Rajya Sabha ticket. So it applies to everyone," Advani said.
Offering his comments on Advani's views, Yashwant Sinha said people in the party discussed that such a rule may have been implemented for him (Shatrughan) but would not be for others.
"There are any number of exceptions who have been given any number of term with a vengeance... This is what rankles that it will be denied to me but not to others under similar circumstances," he said.
Some BJP leaders, including union ministers, have been elected to the Rajya Sabha for more than twice. The former union minister has been sidelined in the party and so has Shatrughan Sinha. Advani too is said to be unhappy with the party over leadership issues.