The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Shatrughan hits back

Patna, Nov. 29 (PTI): Health minister Shatrughan Sinha today brushed aside allegations that he remains absent in Parliament and does not give ample time to his ministry, saying some vested interests were working to tarnish his image.

“The prefix ‘Mr Absentee’ attached to my name is baseless... It’s the work of vested interests within the party and doctors to spread this canard against me,” Sinha told reporters.

One could check the records with the presiding officers of parliament or ask officials in the ministry to verify if he was attending to work or not, sinha said.

''today is only the third day since assuming ministerial charge in july that i am away from parliament...And this absence is also after informing the speaker and the prime minister.''

some career politicians, caste lobbies and vested interests could not digest his becoming a minister and therefore were circulating rumours against him, he alleged.

Sinha was talking to reporters at the bjp headquarters here.

Asked if people, close to his predecessor, c p thakur, were behind this sinister campaign, sinha said, ''i personally enjoy a good relationship with thakur. I seek his advice on ministry work...I have time and again said that my becoming minister is the prerogative of the prime minister and hence nobody should have grudge against me on this ground. Shatrughan sinha cannot be identified with a particular caste or creed.'' more pti sns md pp 11291850 d

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