In a strategic move, veteran actor Shatrughan Sinha has changed sides from BJP to Congress. The fact that he did this on the foundation day of BJP sends a message to everyone in his former party. He joined Congress in the presence of General Secretary KC Venugopal and Randeep Surjewala.

In a public address after his switch, he reminded the crowd that he had previously said that he wouldn’t leaving BJP unless he was ousted. He justified his actions by saying he took the initiative to leave because of the hostility against him within the party.

The 72 year old will contest as the opposition alliance candidate in Patna Saheb, which has been his constituency for 10 years. During the address, he took potshots against his former party. “In the one-man show, two-man army, everything happens from Prime Minister’s Office… the ministers can’t work freely anyway,” he said.

This has been raised as a big issue by various leaders of Congress. The PMO has been accused of taking most of the decisions that are the responsibility of the Ministers and dealing with the Minister’s Secretary directly. “We have seen how democracy turned into autocracy” he added. He called demonetisation “probably the world’s biggest scam”. Mr Sinha said “It was a mindless decision. Several people died. Modi ji’s mother was in the queue and we were told it was normal”.

Mr Sinha also thanked his friend Lalu Prasad Yadav for pushing him to take the leap.