Rebel BJP leader Shatrughan Sinha seems to have pushed the envelope too far for the BJP to ignore his “tantrums”, the party indicated on Saturday after he attended the rally of 22 Opposition parties in Kolkata and trained guns on NDA while repeating the Congress jibe “Chowkidar Chor Hai” against Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
While it is not clear what action the BJP could pursue, party spokesperson Rajiv Pratap Rudy, who also hails from Bihar, launched a vitriolic attack on Sinha, calling him an "opportunist" and virtually daring him to resign from his Lok Sabha seat.
“I am sure the party will take cognisance...," Rudy said at a press conference in BJP headquarters.
The presence of Shatrughan Sinha, who is a Lok Sabha MP from Patna Sahib, and former Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha, who quit the BJP in April last after a 22-year-long association, is embarrassing for BJP. While Yashwant Sinha quit the party after targeting Modi for four years, Sinha continues to play the hardball from within the BJP. Even though there is speculation of him contesting the next LS poll on RJD or Congress ticket, Sinha has chosen to continue with BJP for the time being.
“There are some people, who are very bright and intelligent in a different way. Some people want to carry the stamp of the BJP for the facilities which come as a Member of Parliament. They make it a point to obey the whip so that they do not lose their membership. But at the same time, they are so opportunistic that they want to share the stage at a conclave. I have never seen him in any BJP party activity in the last five years. Nonetheless, he calls himself a BJP man and positions himself on the ramp of Mamata Banerjee,” Rudy rued.
Sinha attacks Modi
Attacking Modi on a range of issues, including Rafale, which is Congress' prime campaign against Modi government, Sinha on Saturday said in Kolkata as long as facts are suppressed, people will say 'Chowkidar Chor Hai'. Calling himself a rebel who speaks the truth, Sinha said he has been warned by elder brother Yashwant Sinha that he will be fired after his remarks today but he is not bothered (koi baat nahin).
With BJP indicating its intent to act against Sinha, what remains to be seen is the method. In a similar fashion when Sharad Yadav and Ali Anwar joined hands with the Opposition, they were disqualified from the membership of Rajya Sabha.
Yadav had even attended a rally called by JDU’s arch-rival Lalu Prasad in Patna, ignoring his party's warning, after which the JDU wrote to Rajya Sabha Chairman Venkaiah Naidu that Sharad Yadav had “voluntarily given up his membership”.
Naidu had ruled that Yadav had “voluntarily given up membership” of the party and "incurred disqualification". However, this process took more than three months. With LS polls round the corner, this may not be the ideal course if the BJP wants to send out a message to rebels. ”There is more likelihood of the party expelling him,” a BJP source said.