Shatrughan_Sinha
Politics & Economy

Will Patna Sahib return Shatrughan Sinha?

THIS BOLLYWOOD ACTOR
Has Been Bihar's Poster Boy For Long

Shatrughan Sinha believes Bhartiya Janata Party lives in fool’s paradise. “Voters of Patna Sahib will teach BJP a lesson,” the actor-politician says, refuting BJP’s claim that Patna Sahib Lok Sabha seat has been its stronghold.

But, Congress leaders in Bihar are in a fix for the realization is delayed if the sitting Member of Parliament from Patna Sahib – Shatrughan Sinha – is an asset or a liability.

Shatrughan Sinha campaigning for his wife in Lucknow

Barely a week after showering praise on Congress president Rahul Gandhi at Bihar Pradesh Congress Committee (BPCC) headquarter—Sadaquat Ashram—Sinha, also known as Bihari Babu declared Samajwadi Party (SP) leader Akhilesh Yadav and Bahujan Samajwadi Party (BSP) chief Mayawati as prime minister materials at Lucknow.

The occasion was the launch of campaign for his wife, Poonam Sinha, who filed her nomination as an SP candidate from Lucknow against Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh.

Fearing an outrage against his act, Sinha later clarified his statement, saying that the media twisted it and blew it out of proportion. Sinha, however, said he being Poonam’s husband had the obligation to support his wife in the fray.

“He has been associated with the BJP for long, and hence may take some time to understand the Congress culture,” said Kaukab Quadri, the BPCC working president.

However, Quadri admitted that Sinha needed to do the balancing act in Lucknow, as the Congress party has also fielded Acharya Pramod Krishnan as its nominee there.

Shatrughan Sinha with Congress president Rahul GandhiShatrughan Sinha with Congress president Rahul Gandhi

On his first visit to Sadaquat Ashram, Sinha had rated Rahul Gandhi very high and said he saw in Rahul the present and future of India.

But Shatrughan Sinha will have to prove his loyalty to the Congress party which he initially wanted to join almost three decades ago while plunging into politics.

He will also have to get rid of his affection for the BJP and maintain a safe distance from both SP and BSP.

Congress on its part has already extended a grand reception at Sadaquat Ashram after he joined the party. Subsequently, he was declared the Congress nominee for the Patna Sahib Lok Sabha seat.

A section of Congress, allegedly associated with the SC, ST wing of the party, is meanwhile resenting against Sinha’s candidature which is not being taking seriously by senior party leaders.

Shatrughan Sinha campaigning in Patna Sahib lok sabha constituency

According to BPCC president Madan Mohan Jha, the cinestar-turned-politician would definitely turn out to be an asset for the party and wrest the seat for the Congress.

“Party workers are upbeat to have Sinha as their candidate and are confident of wresting the seat after a long time,” Jha said. 

Patna Sahib Parliamentary constituency is a well-known seat in Bihar. Sinha has represented this Lok Sabha seat for two consecutive terms, winning the 2009 and 2014 elections on a BJP ticket.

The actor-politician defeated a Congress nominee in the last elections while he will be battling the BJP leader and Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad this 2019 election.

Ravi Shankar Prasad, a four-term Rajya Sabha member, is contesting a Lok Sabha election for the first time, while Shatrughan Sinha, having served Rajya Sabha twice, had been a member of the Union council of ministers headed by Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

by Madhu Mishra