Shatrughan Sinha
Shatrughan Sinha Image Credit: PTI

Patna: Bollywood star-turned-politician Shatrughan Sinha may have played many double roles on the silver screen in his long movie career spanning over four decades, but curiously, he is now doing the same in his political life too.

Even as he goes on describing Congress president Rahul Gandhi as the perfect candidate for the top job at his election rallies in Bihar, in neighbouring Uttar Pradesh, he finds Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Akhilesh Yadav and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supremo Miss Mayawati as “PM material”. His comments have brought much embarrassment to the Congress, with the opposition making fun of his act. He joined the Congress earlier this month after serving the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for about 27 years following his differences with the top party leadership.

The problem with ‘Shotgun’ — as Sinha is also known for often ‘shooting’ his adversaries with his mouth — is that while he himself is a Congress candidate from Patna Sahib Lok Sabha seat in Bihar, his wife Poonam Sinha is contesting as SP-BSP candidate from Lucknow seat. She joined the SP only last week.

So, while in Bihar, Shotgun campaigns for the Congress candidates, in Lucknow, he seeks votes for his wife which is being interpreted as his open defiance of the Congress which was not given a place in the SP-BSP alliance in UP. Right now, his wife is locked in a triangular contest with BJP candidate and federal home minister Rajnath Singh and Congress candidate Acharya Pramod Krishnam.

“I have the right to be by my wife’s side at this time since I have taken oath to help her out throughout the life at the time of marriage. So I have only fulfilled my responsibility as a husband,” Sinha had remarked when the media questioned him for campaigning against the Congress candidate last week.

Sinha’s remarks invited curious comments from Congress’ Lucknow candidate Krishnam who suggested the former also fulfil his political dharma by campaigning for him since he has joined the Congress. “He (Shatrughan) has fulfilled his duty as a husband, but I would like to request him to campaign for his party (Congress) and fulfil his political dharma as well,” Krishnam had suggested, putting Shotgun in a fix.

This is not the end of the story though. Angry at his “double roles”, the local Congress workers in Patna have been protesting against Sinha for the past two days. Angry Congress workers protested against him in the state party headquarters for the second consecutive day on Monday. Holding placards in hands and shouting slogans against the actor-turned-politician, the protesters demanded taking back the party ticket from Sinha and giving it to the loyal party candidate.

“Bad coin will not work. Please cancel his candidature,” demanded Vinay Kumar Singh who is leading the protests. “How can we tolerate if a star campaigner of the Congress would campaign against its own candidate in Lucknow?” asked Singh. The local party leaders are literally speechless over the “double roles” Sinha has been playing in politics.