Ranchi: Senior BJP leader Venkaiah Naidu on Monday sought to remind Jaswant Singh, who has slammed the party for treating him as a piece of furniture, how he was given important portfolios in the Vajpayee government.
"He was made the external affairs and finance minister, accorded the status of the Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, besides making him MP several times," Naidu said at a press conference here.
"It is unfortunate that Jaswant Singh has decided to contest as an Independent. He is an experienced senior leader, and should not have done that. Party has given him much respect," he said in reply to a query.
Stating that a party ticket for Barmer might not have been given to Singh due to local factors, he said "For that reason only it is not proper (for him) to contest as an Independent candidate. That is not good for him."
To another query, Naidu said till yesterday BJP was good and since ticket was not given, the party has turned bad.
"That is not fair," the former BJP president said.
Angered at BJP for not giving him a ticket from Barmer, Singh said he was not a piece of furniture who the party would adjust anywhere and that behaviour of many BJP leaders "nowadays, is full of conceit and scornful."
Naidu wondered how such reports emerged that the BJP was not respecting its senior most leaders.
"No disrespect has been meted out to anyone. Elders in the party remain a guiding force for us. I don`t understand where it (disrespect of elders) has come from. Except Jaswant Singh, all senior leaders have got tickets," he asserted.
"(While) we are taking the blessings of our elder leaders, we are also encouraging the new generation. What is the problem there," Naidu shot back.
On why Joshi was shifted to Kanpur, he claimed it was beneficial to the party in Uttar Pradesh.
"Joshiji will win comfortably," he added.