Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad retained the Patna Sahib seat for the BJP on Thursday, defeating sitting MP Shatrughan Sinha in fray on a Congress ticket by a margin of 2.84 lakh votes. Prasad, who is a member of the Rajya Sabha, polled a whopping 61.85 per cent of the total votes in the constituency, which comprises the entire state capital besides a couple of assembly segments on the outskirts.
Sinha had joined the Congress more than a month ago after the BJP, upset over his repeated attacks on the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and national president Amit Shah, denied him a ticket and fielded Prasad in his place.The actor-turned-politician, who has been associated with the BJP since the early 90s, had won the seat in 2009 and 2014 by margins of over one lakh votes.
Earlier, seeing the writing on the wall, Sinha told a hurriedly-convened press conference, "Best wishes to my friend Narendra Modi and master strategist Amit Shah. Hope they provide good governance to the people of the country."
Calling Prasad, his vanquisher at the hustings, a "bhadralok", Sinha said, "I hope he will do the needful in helping the city of Patna become truly smart. He has a crucial role to play as he holds key portfolios like Electronics and IT."
An upbeat Prasad tweeted: "My Pranaam to people of India for the decisive mandate given for bringing prosperity and development under the leadership of PM @narendramodi. Jai Hind!".