Senior BJP leader Shatrughan Sinha is known for making acerbic comments against his own party. There have been numerous occasions where he has publicly criticized Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Now there are reports that Sinha is likely to contest the 2019 Lok Sabha elections form the VVIP constituency of Varanasi. According to the Times of India, Samajwadi Party leadership is thinking on the lines of offering a ticket to Sinha if he chooses to quit the BJP ahead of the crucial 2019 polls.
While matching the Prime Minister’s popularity in Benaras may be debatable, yet, Sinha can’t be completely ruled out. He is a known face and has considerable support from the ‘Kayastha’ community of Varanasi. Also, the latest Gujarat exodus of migrant workers from UP and Bihar may impact the BJP’s electoral fortune.
Coincidently, Sinha attended an event in Lucknow and shared dais with former Chief Minister and SP chief Akhilesh Yadav on Thursday.
Addressing a gathering here on the occasion of the birth anniversary of Loknayak Jayaprakash Narayan, who gave the clarion call of 'Sampoorna Kranti' (complete revolution), Sinha asked why PSU Hindustan Aeronautics Limited was "sidelined" in favour of a private firm as an offset Indian partner of Dassault Aviation for manufacturing the fighter aircraft.
"The public want an answer on the Rafale deal. You have to speak up, and mere ignoring it will not do. Why was HAL which had the experience of manufacturing MiGs and Sukhoi sidelined and a 10-day-old company with (virtually) zero balance and zero experience was given the job," the BJP MP said, flanked by former party leader Yashwant Sinha and Samajwadi Party president.
The gathering burst into peals of laughter when a youth stood up and said to Shatrughan, "I love you (mujhe aapse pyaar ho gaya hai)." To which, the actor-turned-politician replied, saying, "Don't blush otherwise I will be accused of #MeToo."
(With PTI input)