Shatrughan Sinha gets a hero’s welcome in Patna
Shatrughan Sinha, who recently switched to the Congress arrived to a rousing welcome in Patna on Friday evening and asserted that the current dispensation at the Centre was a one-man show and two-man army that was fighting to save itself with the help of spent cartridges.
“The head of this government speaks too much and gives slogans like ‘na khaunga, na khane doonga (will neither take bribes, nor allow anybody to do so). But in reality it is a one-man show and two-man army fighting to save itself with the help of spent cartridges. There is no dum (strength) in their claims. The entire country has become frustrated with their empty economic policies and vacant slogans,” Shatrughan said.
“The BJP has nothing apart from claims. It just keeps talking without doing anything for the people,” the actor-politician added.
Shatrughan, the Patna Sahib MP, said he was contesting the Lok Sabha elections from the constituency in national interest to strengthen the Congress and thereby strengthen the country and steer it towards progress and peace.
“I have also come here to keep my word that whatever the situation, the location for me in the general elections will be Patna Sabhib only. It is my first, second and last choice,” he added.
Shatrughan asserted that the country needed “unity, integrity and communal harmony” to survive and he would do whatever he can for it.
Shatrughan, a two-time Rajya Sabha member and Lok Sabha MP for an equal number of times, was on his first visit to the Bihar capital after quitting the BJP and joining the Congress on April 6.
He flew in from Mumbai in a chartered aircraft, and was accompanied by Bihar Pradesh Congress Committee president Madan Mohan Jha. Shatrughan held a road show from the airport to the state Congress headquarters at Sadaquat Ashram as a large number of people lined the roads.
Shatrughan is pitted against BJP leader and Union law and information technology minister Ravi Shankar Prasad from Patna Sahib.
Calling Prasad his friend and hailing him as a good person from a good family, Shatrughan said: “If he calls himself a gully boy, I am also a local, born and brought up in Patna. I won the previous election from here with a vote percentage that was a record in the country. The enthusiasm among the people and the grand welcome they have given me is just a trailer of what is to come. A new record will be made.”
Shatrughan said he never wanted to leave the BJP because it was a party where he was nurtured, trained and made a star campaigner. However, when he questioned its faulty policies like demonetisation, it did not go down well with the leadership, he claimed.
“I still waited till the BJP announced its candidates. My name was not there. So I left with a heavy heart. I had dared to speak the truth and question the faulty policies of top BJP leaders, so they labelled me a rebel,” Shatrughan added.
He said he had been very close to the Congress previously and has mentioned in his biography, Anything but Khamosh, that he would have been in the party had former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi been alive.
In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, Shatrughan had polled 5.86 lakh votes, around 55 per cent of the voter turnout. His nearest rival, Kunal Singh (also an actor) of the Congress, had got 2.2 lakh votes, around 25 per cent of the turnout.
The Patna Sahib constituency is dominated by the Kayasthas, who make up 22 to 23 per cent of the electorate. Shatrughan and Prasad both hail from this caste.