Unjustly targeted, BJP’s show-cause notice demoralizing: Jayant Sinha

Ranchi, May 23 (PTI) BJP MP Jayant Sinha, who was asked by the party to show cause for not taking part in campaigning, on Thursday said he was being “unjustly targeted” and the public notice amounted to demoralising dedicated workers like him.

Replying to the show cause notice, Sinha said it was issued to him though he had on March 2 communicated to BJP president JP Nadda that he would not be able to shoulder electoral responsibilities as he would focus on combating issues arising from global climate change and getting his “explicit approval”.

The Hazaribagh MP also said that it was wrong for the party to allege that he did not cast his vote on May 20, since he had exercised his franchise through postal ballot and was not in the country on the polling day.

“Given my contributions to the party and the circumstances, the public issuance of your letter is unseemly. Your approach demoralizes dedicated party workers and undermines the party’s collective efforts. Additionally, despite my loyalty and hard work for the party, it appears that I am being unjustly targeted,” the former Union minister replied on the show cause notice via a post on X.

The BJP on Monday had slapped the notice on Sinha for not taking part in campaigning after Manish Jaiswal was declared candidate from the Hazaribag Lok Sabha seat, thereby “maligning” the party’s image.

“We could have certainly spoken in person or on the phone at any time to address any of your misgivings. As the party official responsible for the Hazaribagh Lok Sabha elections, you could have reached me at any time. To send me a letter after the elections are over is incomprehensible,” Sinha said.

Sinha is the son of former Union finance minister Yashwant Sinha.

“I left India on 10 May 2024 to attend to some pressing personal commitments overseas. The party had not asked me to participate in any events, so I saw no reason to stay. Before leaving India, I sent my vote through the postal ballot process. Therefore, it is wrong for you to allege that I did not exercise my responsibility to vote,” Sinha said.

The BJP MP said he was surprised to receive the show cause letter and discover that it had been released to the media as well.

In the notice to him, BJP state general secretary Aditya Sahu had said, “You are not taking any interest in organisational work and election campaigning ever since the party declared Manish Jaiswal as the candidate from Hazaribag LS seat. You did not even feel proper to exercise your right of franchise. The party’s image has been maligned due to your conduct.”

The party had sought an explanation from Sinha following instructions from state BJP president and former Jharkhand chief minister Babulal Marandi.

Hours before the announcement that Jaiswal would be the candidate for Hazaribagh, Sinha had requested party leadership to relieve him from electoral politics.

In a post on X on March 2, the MP said he would continue to work with the party on economic and governance issues and wanted to focus his efforts on “combating global climate change in Bharat and around the world”.

Hazaribag, a high-profile urban constituency in Jharkhand, was once represented by Yashwant Sinha and later his son, Jayant Sinha.

Drawing the attention of the party towards his post on March 2, he said “As is obvious from this tweet, I withdrew from the Lok Sabha elections on 2 March 2024. After consulting with Shri Nadda ji and getting his explicit approval, I made it clear publicly that I was not going to be involved in these elections.”

He claimed that despite the withdrawal, the reaction from thousands of Hazaribagh’s constituency and party workers was profound, with many visiting him in Delhi, asking me not to withdraw and to continue as a candidate.

“This was a difficult period, filled with intense public emotion. However, I maintained political decorum and restraint,” Sinha said.

In his two-page letter posted on X, the BJP leader said his endorsement of Manish Jaiswal’s candidature was evident when he congratulated him which was well-documented on social media.

“If the party had wanted me to participate in any election activities, you could surely have contacted me. However, not a single senior party official or MP/MLA from Jharkhand reached out to me post my announcement on 2 March 2024. I was not invited to any party events, rallies, or organizational meetings. If Shri Babu Lal Marandi ji wanted me to participate, he could have certainly called me, but he did not,” Sinha said.

He said that when he was in Delhi on April 29, candidate Manish Jaiswal called him up requesting him to participate in a nomination rally on May 1 but it was not feasible on such late notice.

“Consequently, I travelled to Hazaribagh on 2 May 2024 and went directly to Shri Jaiswal ji’s residence to express my regards. He was not present, so I conveyed my message to his family,” he added.

Sinha said that during his 25-year service to the BJP, he has been a two-term MP, Union Minister of State, and Chairperson of the Standing Committee on Finance while his development and organizational work in Hazaribagh had been appreciated widely.

“It has been my honour to represent the BJP and PM Modi ji’s government in many important parliamentary and media debates,” he said.

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