A week after meeting Congress president Rahul Gandhi, rebel BJP leader Shatrughan Sinha on Saturday joined the Congress party ahead of the Lok Sabha elections. Addressing the press, Sinha said he quit the BJP as there was no change or progress in the party except “the rise of dictatorship”. He added that he will be contesting from the Patna Sahib seat in Bihar.
“The BJP has kicked out all the good people with humble intentions,” the actor-turned-politician said, naming L K Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi and Arun Shourie. “Everyone is scared of Modiji in the party. Even the MPs are scared of the Prime Minister. There was no development in secularism or in the actions of the saffron party,” he added.
Sinha is a two-term BJP Lok Sabha MP from Patna Sahib Singh in Bihar. An open critic of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Sinha was not fielded from the seat for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, which was instead given to Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad.
Sinha also targeted the BJP saying demonetisation was the “biggest scam in the world”. “I have always spoken for the wellbeing of our youth and farmers. When I opposed demonetisation, I was called a rebel. If speaking the truth is rebellion, then yes, I’m a rebel,” he added.
Welcoming him into the party’s fold, senior party leader and national spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said Sinha is a “real politician” and has “always spoken the truth fearlessly”.
Congress general secretary K C Venugopal said, “The best politician of the country is joining the Indian National Congress today. The best politician was in the wrong party, now he’s in the right party.
“This election is going to be a fight against an anti-democratic, anti-development Modi government,” Venugopal added.
Earlier in the day, Sinha had tweeted that he was leaving the party with a “heavy heart and immense pain”. He said, “I don’t hold any ill will for our people as they were like my family and I was groomed in this party with the guidance and blessings of the stalwarts like Bharat Ratna Nanaji Deshmukh, late and great PM #atalbiharivajpayee and of course, our friend philosopher, ultimate leader, guru & guide, Sri. L.K #Advani,” he added.
“I don’t hold any ill will for our people as they were like my family and I was groomed in this party with the guidance and blessings of the stalwarts like Bharat Ratna Nanaji Deshmukh, late and great PM #atalbiharivajpayee and of course, our friend philosopher, ultimate leader, guru & guide, Sri. L.K #Advani,” he added.
Sinha said he was hopeful that the Congress would provide him with opportunities to serve the people, society and nation “in terms of unity, prosperity, progress, development, and glory.”