Putting all speculations to rest, the Bharatiya Janata Party has fielded Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad from Patna Sahib Lok Sabha constituency against the incumbent MP Shatrughan Sinha.
This is for the first time that Prasad, a four-term Rajya Sabha member, will be contesting a Lok Sabha election.
The rebel BJP MP from Patna Sahib, Shatru, who created more enemies than friends in his party through his diatribe against Narendra Modi, continues to be in the BJP, although the saffron camp has been treating him like a ‘persona non grata’. Shatrughan is likely to be the Mahagatbandhan candidate from his home constituency.
Who is Prasad?
Incidentally, both Shatrughan and Ravi Shankar Prasad were Union ministers in Vajpayee Government. However, the two proteges of BJP patriarch L K Advani will be locking horns from their home town in 2019.
Born in Patna, Ravi Shankar Prasad is a senior lawyer who shot to fame while pleading cases against Lalu Prasad in fodder scam in the mid-90s. Son of veteran RSS leader Thakur Prasad, who was Finance Minister in Karpoori Thakur Ministry in Bihar in the 70s, Ravi Shankar was made Rajya Sabha member from Bihar in 2000 and later inducted in the Vajpayee Government as Minister of State for Coal and Mines.
Currently, he is Union Minister for Law and IT. His sister Anuradha Prasad is a veteran TV journalist and is married to Congress leader and former Union Minister Rajiv Shukla.
Meanwhile, supporters of another claimant for the Patna Sahib constituency, RK Sinha, BJP Rajya Sabha member, have expressed their resentment over denial of ticket to Sinha and said that Kayastha groups would not support anyone other than RK Sinha. Incidentally, all three – Shatru, Ravi Shankar and RK Sinha belong to upper caste Kayastha.
Welcoming the decision, Shatru said he would contest from Patna Sahib constituency come what may. “After Holi, I will let you know which party I would represent in the ensuing polls,” said Shatru, when asked whether he would contest as an RJD candidate or Congress.