Jaswant files nomination for V-P post, says fight’s on
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Jaswant Singh, accompanied by a group of senior NDA leaders, had reached the room of Lok Sabha Secretary-General T K Viswanathan, Returning Officer for the Vice-Presidential election, by 12.25 pm on Friday to file his nomination papers. But there was no action for at least five more minutes. It was exactly at 12.30 pm that the NDA nominee for the Vice-President's post filed his nomination papers.
Even if the numbers appeared to be loaded in favour of UPA candidate and incumbent Vice-President Hamid Ansari, Jaswant Singh is not taking the fight casually, ensuring that the stars were positioned on his side when he entered the fray.
And, unlike the Presidential election, when the BJP had to contend with a split in the NDA ranks, the party organised a perfect display of unity. No wonder then that Jaswant Singh, 74, had leaders of all alliance partners for company. They included BJP patriarch and NDA chairman L K Advani, NDA convenor Sharad Yadav, Leaders of the Opposition Sushma Swaraj (Lok Sabha) and Arun Jaitley (Rajya Sabha), former BJP chief Rajnath Singh, Shiv Sena floor leader in the Lok Sabha Anant Geete and Akali leader Harsimrat Kaur Badal among others.
Former Rajasthan CM Vasundhara Raje put aside the bitterness which marked her relationship with Jaswant Singh in the past to be on his side. Their ties had grown bitter in 2007 — during Raje's tenure — when Jaswant Singh's wife Sheetal Kanwar lodged a police case after someone brought out a poster depicting Raje as Goddess Annapurna. Kanwar had alleged that it hurt her religious sentiments.
Kanwar walked along side Raje on Friday.
Jaswant Singh, who represents Darjeeling in Lok Sabha, described the elections for presidency and vice-presidency as "historic moments." "It is an honour (being the NDA candidate)," he said. He said the election should not be measured in terms of numbers. Regarding the suggestion that Ansari's victory was certain, he said, "You may have reached this conclusion, I have not.... The perception that in a democracy, only the numbers are counted, is not true."
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