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Can Shatrughan Sinha retain Patna Sahib seat

By Anuj Cariappa
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Patna, Apr 13: Actor-turned-politician Shatrughan Sinha arrived here on his first tour of his Lok Sabha constituency after quitting the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and joining the Congress and expressed confidence that he will retain the seat for a third time with a record margin.

Shatrughan Sinha

Sinha, who is a second-term MP from Patna Sahib, landed at the airport here in the evening and told the posse of waiting journalists I had won the 2014 Lok Sabha polls with the highest margin for any seat in Bihar. This time, a new record will be established.

Sinha popularly known as "Bihari Babu" had trounced famous Bhojpuri actor Kunal, fielded by Congress from the seat, in the last Parliamentary election. Before that in 2009, being a BJP candidate he had defeated fellow Bollywood colleague Sekhar Suman, fighting on Congress ticket.

I have come here to fulfil the promise I had been making all through that the location will be the same even though the situation may be different. I am back to the same location. You all know under what circumstances I had to leave the BJP, Sinha who joined the Congress last week said.

Didn't decide to leave BJP overnight, party had turned autocratic: Shatrughan Sinha

Replying to a query, he said that my daughter Sonakshi did not campaign for me in the past nor would she do so this time. She is apolitical. Moreover, I am not dependent on star campaigners from outside to win an election in the city where I grew up.

In my past two elections I had not requested my friends in the BJP like Rajnath Singh, Sushma Swaraj and Yashwant Sinha to campaign for me, because everybody here knows me, Sinha, who had been associated with the BJP since the 1990s but turned critical of its leadership in the past few years, said.

The flamboyant MP, who has also served two terms in the Rajya Sabha previously and been a member of the Union council of ministers headed by Atal Bihari Vajpayee will be taking on law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad who has been fielded by the BJP.

You all know how Prasad was given the ticket while I still was in the BJP. Nobody even showed the courtesy to have a word with me on the matter. I truly believe that the Congress for me would mean a new direction and a better condition (nai disha behtar dasha), the former Bollywood star, who is known for his one-liners, said.

About a reported comment by Prasad wherein he had dismissed the sitting MP as a gali ka ladka (street kid), Sinha said I do not wish to speak ill of him. He has been a personal friend and belongs to a reputed family. I wear his label as a badge of honour. Yes, indeed, I am known in every street of the city.

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