Rebel BJP leader Shatrughan Sinha to join Congress on April 6
New Delhi, Mar 28: Bollywood actor-turned-politician Shatrughan Sinha's entry into the Congress has been delayed after tussle intensified within the Bihar Mahagathbandhan over seat sharing.
Sinha, who has been associated with Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for about three decades, is likely to join Congress on April 6 and will take on Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad. He has held the seat since 2009 for the BJP.
Congress In-charge of Bihar, Shakti Singh Gohil on Thursday confirmed that Shatrughan Sinha will be joining the party. "Shatrughan Sinha Ji has decided that he will join Congress party and will work as our star leader and star campaigner," he said.
Sinha is a two-term BJP Lok Sabha member from Patna Sahib Singh but has been dropped by the saffron party which has chosen to field union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad from the seat.
Sinha has been openly critical of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah. Speculation had been rife for some time that he would join the Congress, which is an ally of the 'Mahagathbandhan' which also consists of the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and other local parties.
Asked whether Sinha would be induced in the party in the presence of (AICC) president Rahul Gandhi, as was being speculated in the media, Singh said Top leaders will be present on the occasion".
Sources in the 'Mahagathbandhan' had recently claimed that there was a tug of war between the Congress and RJD over Sinhas candidature as Lalu Prasad's party, with which the 'Bihari Babu' shares cordial relations, was said to be keen on fielding him on its own symbol.
Congress has been contesting from Patna Sahib whenever it has fought the Lok Sabha polls in alliance with the RJD and Singhs statement indicate that decks have been cleared for Sinhas candidature by the Congress leadership.
Singh, however, dodged queries about Kirti Azad, another BJP MP who had recently joined the Congress saying he will be contesting elections. From where, it will be decided by the party.
Azad is serving his second consecutive term in the Lok Sabha from Darbhanga and the Congress wants to field him from the seat as the constituency has a large population of Maithil Brahmins as its traditional supporters.
RJD has been insisting that it has won the Darbhanga seat many times and would like to contest it again with its senior leader Abdul Bari Siddiqui as its candidate.