Shatrughan Sinha, who had announced that he is quitting the BJP, on Sunday said he decided to go with the Congress as it was a national party in the “true sense” and his family friend Lalu Prasad also advised him to do so. He also revealed that he got various offers from other parties including Trinamool Congress, Samajwadi Party and Aam Aadmi Party.
The actor-turned-politician, who has been criticizing the Modi government for long, said that he was disturbed by the treatment meted out by the party to its seniors such as L K Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Arun Shourie and Yashwant Sinha.
With Shatrughan Sinha set to join the Congress, his popularity will be put to the test in Patna Saheb, from where he is likely to contest as a Congress nominee opposite Union minister Ravi Shanker Prasad. The urban seat, which Sinha has represented since 2009, is said to be among the safest for the BJP.
As BJP candidate, Sinha back in 2014 won the Lok Sabha polls with 55.04 per cent. Sources in the party, however, admit it won’t be easy for BJP’s Ravi Shankar Prasad, who, despite his high-profile as Union minister and being a constant presence in the media, is fighting his debut elections.
“This election will show how much personal clout he enjoys as a film star and two-time MP. Sinha will now get to know his real strength, minus the support of the strong BJP cadre. Although the RJD and Congress will rally around him, the BJP has not lost the constituency post delimitation in 2009, when Patna Saheb was split into Patna Saheb and Pataliputra Lok Sabha segments,” said a BJP leader.