Actor-turned-politician Shatrughan Sinha, who has been associated with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for about three decades, will join Congress at New Delhi on April 6. Early in the day, the disgruntled BJP leader met Congress president Rahul Gandhi and decided to join the grand old party in national interest.
Sinha is a two-term BJP Lok Sabha member from Patna Sahib Lok Sabha constituency but has been replaced with Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad ahead of the ensuing Lok Sabha Elections 2019 scheduled to be held between April 11 and May 19.
Congress has been contesting from Patna Sahib whenever it has fought the Lok Sabha polls in alliance with the RJD and, therefore, decks have been cleared for Sinha's candidature by the Congress leadership.
"BJP MP Shatrugna Sinha ji met our Congress President Shri @RahulGandhi today and in national interest has decided to join our Congress. He will formally join Congress on April 6," Shakti Singh Gohil, Congress In-Charge in Bihar tweeted.
BJP MP Shatrugna Sinha ji met our Congress President Shri @RahulGandhi today and in national interest has decided to join tur Congress. Hw wil formally join Congress on April 6. pic.twitter.com/qxJ3qELYUg— Shaktisinh Gohil (@shaktisinhgohil) March 28, 2019
Amid reports of his joining the Congress, Shotgun, as he is known popularly, on Tuesday took to Twitter and showered praises upon Congress president Rahul Gandhi for announcing the minimum income scheme.
"It's a masterstroke by the ‘master of the situation’, @RahulGandhi - declaring #MinimumIncomeGuarantee scheme. It has rattled our people so much that some of our prominent people had to rush for a press conference, calling the whole declaration/ announcement 'chhal-kapat'," the tweet read.
It's a masterstroke by the 'master of situation', @RahulGandhi - declaring #MinimumIncomeGuarantee scheme. It has rattled our people so much that some of our prominent people had to rush for a press conference, calling the whole declaration/ announcement "chhal kapat".— Shatrughan Sinha (@ShatruganSinha) March 26, 2019
Asked whether Sinha would be induced in the party in the presence of AICC president Rahul Gandhi, as was being speculated in the media, Akhilesh Prasad Singh, chairman for the state Congress election campaign committee, 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 Sinha's 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.
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 RJD and other local parties.