'My location will be same even if situation changes'

'My location will be same even if situation changes'

Shatrughan Sinha. PTI file photo

Senior BJP MP from Patna Sahib, Shatrughan Sinha, scotched media speculations that he would contest from New Delhi as an AAP nominee or throw his hat in the ring against Narendra Modi from Varanasi.

The grapevine was abuzz with the theory that the star-turned-parliamentarian may change his Lok Sabha constituency if the BJP denied him ticket from his home town Patna Sahib during 2019 polls.

Dismissing such reports as “pure gossip”, he said he too read in some newspapers that Aam Aadmi Party wanted him to contest from any New Delhi constituency of his choice, preferably Northeast Delhi.

“I have also seen media reports that I may be fielded from Varanasi as Samajwadi Party-led Mahagatbandhan candidate against Prime Minister Narendra Modi. But I am of the firm view that my location will remain the same even if there is change in the situation,” Shatrughan told DH in an exclusive chat in Patna.

His allusion was he would contest from his home constituency, no matter whether the BJP retained him as the party candidate or expelled him for his utterances against the party leadership.

“There is nothing personal against Narendra Modi or Amit Shah. All I have done is to show them mirror wherever they have gone wrong. Many MPs in my party have lauded me, in private, for my frank views at a time when there is an undeclared emergency within and outside the party,” he said.

“Be it Bollywood or Indian polity, I have always called a spade a spade. In the BJP, I often say these days there is a one-man show and two-man army,” said the rebel MP who has the distinction of being the first celebrity from tinsel town to be made a Cabinet minister (in the Vajpayee regime).

“I have served four terms as MP. Twice in the Rajya Sabha. And then, twice as a Lok Sabha member. In 2009 and 2014, I won with record margin. I was the first person from Bollywood to become a full-fledged Cabinet minister. Besides, there are no allegations of any kind in my three decades of political life. But you (Modi) made one person (read: Jaitley, who lost Lok Sabha polls from Punjab) finance minister and gave him additional charge of defence and information and broadcasting ministry. Similarly, you made a person who lost Lok Sabha polls twice— in 2009 and then again in 2014 (read: Smriti Irani)— a Cabinet minister, that too HRD. I don’t hanker for any post. But my supporters feel quite let down,” Shatrughan said.

On being asked why is he then continuing in a party which has been treating him like a ‘persona non grata’, Shotgun (as he is fondly known) shot back: “I did not join the BJP to leave it. Nor will I ever quit the BJP. But of course, the party is free to take action against me if it feels so. But it should remember Newton’s third law: To every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.”

Shatrughan, who, of late, is seen more in the company of the Congress and the RJD and is, therefore, accused of “changing colours for greener pastures.”