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BJP team sparks Shotgun debate

Patna, Jan. 11: Patna Sahib MP Shatrughan Sinha’s name was not included in the 31-member BJP parliamentary election committee for Bihar.

The MP’s supporters see it as a move to sideline the actor. The committee includes state party chief Mangal Pandey, Sushil Kumar Modi, Nand Kishore Yadav and Shahnawaz Hussain.

The MP has had a blow hot-blow cold relationship with the state party officials. When the JD(U)-BJP alliance was on the verge of a split in June last year, Sinha had stated that chief minister Nitish Kumar was as capable a prime ministerial candidate as Narendra Modi was. He also made a courtesy call on Nitish in July last year when the BJP had launched an offensive at the chief minister in the wake of the Gandaman midday meal tragedy.

He also heaped praise on RJD chief Lalu Prasad, citing his friendship with the leader.

State leaders like Modi and Ravishankar Prasad are hardly known to enjoy good vibes with the actor-turned-politician. “It is highly improper that Shatrughan has been omitted from the poll panel,” said a senior party leader.

But the BJP has played down the issue. “Shatrughan has been the party’s star campaigner from its inception. There is no question of sidelining him. The central parliamentary board of the party has not yet constituted the campaign committee. It hardly matters if Shatrughan does not figure in the election committee,” Pandey said.

Paswan meets Sonia

LJP chief Ram Vilas Paswan met Congress president Sonia Gandhi in New Delhi on Saturday to discuss the possibility of the two parties forming an alliance ahead of the Lok Sabha polls.