The Telegraph
Saturday , March 22 , 2014
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Star war in Patna Sahib
- Off screen face-off between Bollywood actor of yesteryear Shatrughan Sinha & Bhojpuri film stalwart Kunal Singh spices up election battle

In 2009, it was Bollywood vs Bollywood in Patna Sahib parliamentary constituency. This time, it would be more or less similar but for the fact that Bollywood would get a fight from Bhojpuri film industry.

While BJP’s Shatrughan Sinha faced the challenge of Bollywood actor Shekhar Suman in 2009, who was the Congress candidate, this time, the maverick actor would be facing Kunal Singh — the Congress candidate for the seat.

Known for his oratory skills both in reel and real life, Sinha started his campaign on Friday in style with filing of his nomination papers. “Patna is my birthplace and I am not going to leave this constituency at any cost. I am thankful to people like Narendra Modi, Rajnath Singh, Sushma Swaraj and many other senior leaders in the party who gave me yet another opportunity to contest the election,” said Sinha while addressing his supporters near Congress Maidan.

Patna Sahib seat is considered as the face of the BJP in Bihar and retaining the seat is a big challenge for the party. In fact, BJP state unit president Mangal Pandey said Patna Sahib belongs to the BJP and the party cannot afford to lose it.

Sinha had won the seat in 2009 by a margin of over 1.5 lakh votes and the party aims to increase the margin this time.

Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly Nand Kishore Yadav said Shatrughan would win by a margin of two lakh.

Kunal Singh, the new face of the Congress who replaced the earlier announced candidate Raj Kumar Rajan, considers the Lok Sabha poll as fight of ideology. Kunal, son of late Bhudev Singh, who was a minister in the regime of Jagannath Mishra, said he was new in this field but politics was in his blood.

Kunal told The Telegraph: “I am new in this field but politics isthere in my blood. My father was in the Congress from 1962-1990. It’s not about who is senior in politics, it is always about ideology.”

Asked about comparison with Shatrughan, who comes from Bollywood, Kunal said: “Shatruji is my elder brother and comparing me with him is like comparing a prince with a pauper.”

If the two actors have added to the contest in Patna Sahib, Dr Gopal Prasad Sinha of the JD(U) and Parveen Amanullah of Aam Aadmi Party have made it interesting. While Gopal is a prominent doctor, Parveen was a minister in the Nitish-led state government before joining the AAP bandwagon.

Parveen is considered to be a strong candidate from the Patna Sahib seat. On the star factor, she said: “Entertainment comes last, what people see is the work for their constituency.”

The JD(U) candidate, Dr Sinha, is banking on the people of the constituency. On his star opponents, he said: “A true warrior never leaves the battle until the war is over.

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