Yashwant advises Shatru against praising Nitish

Yashwant advises Shatru against praising Nitish

Senior BJP leader and former Union Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha on Wednesday advised fellow party MP Shatrughan Sinha to desist from praising Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who was responsible for severing the JD-U’s 17-year-old ties with the saffron party.

Yashwant’s “rebuke” comes a day after Shatrughan Sinha said in Patna that Kumar had all the attributes to become the prime minister. “Nitish has provided Bihar a dynamic leadership. If a particular chief minister (read Narendra Modi) could aspire to be the prime minister, then why not Nitish? He is no less competent to be the prime minister,” Shatrughan Sinha said on Tuesday, drawing severe criticism from his party colleagues.

But on Wednesday, many other BJP legislators joined the chorus. “If you see Bihari Babu’s entire statement in totality, you will find that what Shatru ji has said is nothing wrong,” BJP legislator from Suryagarha, Prem Ranjan Patel, told Deccan Herald.
He was backed by another party MLA Vijay Mishra who said any Bihari would like Kumar to become the prime minister. “So what’s wrong if Shatru showered encomiums on Nitish and said he was fit for the country’s top executive post?” Mishra said.

The growing dissent within the BJP, however, did not go down well with senior party leaders. The BJP’s national vice-president and former Union health minister C P Thakur was quick to suggest that time has come for the central leadership to initiate some disciplinary action against Shatrughan Sinha.

Thakur’s rivalry with “Shotgun” goes back to the daysof the NDA government in the Centre. Shatrughan Sinha had replaced him as the Union health minister in Vajpayee’s cabinet. Thakur’s rampaging men had then ransacked the Bihar BJP office. Of late, Thakur, a former Lok Sabha member from Patna, has been eyeing Shatrughan Sinha’s constituency for the 2014 polls.

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