'NDA winning 40 LS seats in Bihar 'wishful thinking''

'NDA winning 40 LS seats in Bihar 'wishful thinking''

Shatrughan Sinha.

Disgruntled BJP MP Shatrughan Sinha, who was a notable absentee at Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Sunday rally here, said Monday the claim by NDA leaders of winning all 40 seats in Bihar is nothing but "wishful thinking".

On his absence from the rally where Modi, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and Union minister Ram Vilas Paswan appeared together and sounded the Lok Sabha poll bugle in Bihar, Sinha said, "I was neither called nor I was interested in attending it."

Gandhi Maidan, the venue of the rally, falls in Sinha's Patna Saheb parliamentary constituency.

Asked if everything was over for him in the BJP, Sinha quipped, "Only time will tell whether my time with the BJP is over or the party's time with me is over."

Sinha, who was a Union minister in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee cabinet, is at odds with the party leadership after being ignored for campaigning in the 2015 Bihar assembly polls, and has been taking potshots at the prime minister and BJP president Amit Shah on issues like demonetisation and crises in insitutions like the CBI and RBI.

The actor-politician dubbed the claim by Nitish Kumar and some other leaders of the coalition of winning all the 40 Lok Sabha seats as "wishful thinking meant to keep the morale of their party cadres high".

"They should have at least left my Patna Saheb seat from boastful claim of 40 out of 40 seats in Bihar," the BJP leader told PTI over phone from Mumbai.

Sinha has repeatedly asserted that he would contest the upcoming Lok Sabha election from Patna Saheb.

"Location will remain the same even if there is change in the situation," he reaffirmed.

Indications are that Sinha could be denied BJP ticket this time and he might enter the fray as candidate of alliance comprising the RJD, Congress, RLSP and HAM.

Sinha has often praised Congress president Rahul Gandhi and was seen in company of RJD supremo Lalu Prasad and his son Tejashwi Yadav. It is unclear whether he would contest the election as a Congress or RJD nominee in the event of being denied BJP ticket.

Sinha, who had won the Patna Saheb seat in 2014 for a second time with a huge margin, mocked NDA leaders over their claim of winning "40 out of 40 Lok Sabha seats in Bihar" and Amit Shah's repeated assertion of getting "prachand bahumat" (overwhelming majority), saying they made similar claims during assembly elections in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh but lost.

The actor-turned-politician Monday tweeted about his meeting with Lalu Prasad in a Ranchi jail on Saturday, a day before the NDA rally in Patna.

"Had the pleasure of meeting a dear family friend, Lalu Prasad Yadav @laluprasadrjd in Ranchi once again. It's so inspiring & comforting to see him bravely fighting despite ailing health in his difficult situation. His determination & cheerful approach is his strength," he tweeted.

"Our discussions were rewarding & beneficial. Wishing Laluji, healing prayers & a speedy recovery soon, sooner the better, for the State & Nation. Once a friend, always a friend, yours affectionately, Shatrughan Sinha / #BihariBabu," he said in another tweet.

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