Sushil fires hint of Shotgun seat snub
Deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi on Sunday gave the clearest indication yet that rebel Patna Sahib MP Shatrughan Sinha will not get a party ticket for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
“Shatrughan had chosen lantern. He will get to know his status…,” read the Hindi tweet, roughly translated into English.
Even though the deputy chief minister was unavailable to elaborate on his comment on the sitting MP, sources close to him said he had aired his views on a news channel programme on Saturday evening.
The source said Modi had clearly stated that Shatrughan, popularly called Shotgun, would know his status, as the people here were eager to teach him a lesson.
BJP sources said even though the BJP central leadership has not said anything about the Patna Sahib MP yet, there have been enough hints that he will not be a candidate the coming election. “The party has stopped inviting him to important meetings. He had not even been called when national president Amit Shah visited the state in July this year,” said a BJP functionary, pointing out that Shatrughan was behaving as if he was on way out of the party.
“Despite being a BJP MP he keeps on speaking the language of opposition parties. He never misses a chance to criticise the party and even targets senior leaders,” said the functionary. “He keeps on heaping praise on Tejashwi and the Congress leaders. He remains busy attending programmes of Yashwant Sinha’s Rashtra Manch. These are clear indications.”
The Shotgun camp has chosen not to join the issue for now. A close aide of the actor-turned-MP told The Telegraph on Sunday: “Sinha Saheb is in no mood to leave the party on his own. Let the BJP leadership take a call on his future, only then will he open his cards.”
Shatrughan himself had hinted something similar to The Telegraph recently after news from Uttar Pradesh suggested that he might be fielded against Prime Minister Narendra Modi as a united Opposition from Varanasi.
Sinha had refused to confirm or deny the buzz.