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From Florida, Shotgun message to party kin

Actor Shatrughan Sinha receives the Lifetime Achievement Award from his daughter and actress Sonakshi Sinha during the fourth and final day of the 15th International Indian Film Academy awards at Raymond James Stadium in Florida. (AFP)

From Raymond James Stadium in US a star campaigner wishes he could be in the dusty bowl of Bihar to help his party candidates get an extra edge over their opponents.

BJP Patna Sahib MP Shatrughan Sinha is at present comfortably tucked in Florida for International Indian Film Academy (IIFA)’s commemoration of 100 years of Bollywood. The Kalicharan actor was bestowed with the Lifetime Achievement Award this year for “outstanding contribution to Indian cinema”. Actor Anil Kapoor and the Bihari Babu’s daughter, Sonakshi Sinha, jointly presented the award at Raymond James Stadium also called Ray Jay.

It is a multi-purpose football stadium and home to NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers as well as the NCAA’s South Florida Bulls football team.

However, the actor’s heart lies in the dirt and dust of election campaigning, which he intends to start after a hiatus from May 1. Sinha said he would resume campaigning for the party as soon as he returns to India. Sinha added: “I would return on April 30 and from the next day itself I would start campaigning.”

The actor-turned-politician said: “It is a crucial time in India because of the ongoing Lok Sabha elections but I had to attend IIFA as well. However, my body could be in US but my heart is in Bihar, especially in Patna. I am missing the campaigns and many candidates have sent me text messages asking me to return to India and campaign for them.”

Speaking on the ongoing Lok Sabha elections, Sinha said: “It is the most crucial elections in the history of India and I am lucky to be a part of it. I know people are eagerly waiting for me back home and that’s the reason why I want to dedicate the award to the people of Bihar. I also want to say that very soon the people of India will get a Prime Minister who is dashing, visionary, dynamic and dabang action hero. He is none other than Narendra Bhai Modi.” Sinha, who is contesting the Lok Sabha elections from the Patna Sahib seat, said: “Patna is my birth place and the city will always remain my strength and my weakness.” Patna Sahib voted on April 17.

He added: “I am really missing my home town, though Sonakshi and (son) Luv are with me but my better half (Poonam) and (other son) Kush is not with me here.” Poonam and Kush are in Mumbai. On Sonakshi’s performance in Bollywood, Sinha said: “It is a competitive world and everyone has to prove better than the best or prove yourself different from the rest. I think Sonakshi has done pretty well so far because she is always inquisitive to learn more from her seniors.”

Now on his campaigns, the actor said: “Before coming to US, I have campaigned in different parts of India for Arun Jaitley (in Amritsar), Murli Manohar Joshi (in Kanpur) and Sushma Swaraj (in Bhopal) immediately after the end of the April 17 elections in Patna.”

Sinha (67) concluded the telephonic conversation by praising party’s prime ministerial candidate by saying: “I believe Narendrabhai Modi will definitely lead the country to economic progress.”


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