New Delhi: Actor-politician Shatrughan Sinha joined the Congress on the foundation day of the BJP on Saturday, saying he has quit the party as it has turned into a “one-man show and two-men army”.
Congress General Secretary K C Venugopal welcomed Sinha into the party fold and termed him the “best politician who was earlier with the wrong party”.
Joining the Congress, Sinha said its president Rahul Gandhi is a “tried, tested and successful dynamic leader, who is the face of the nation and its future”.
He hit out at the BJP leadership, alleging there’s no place left for dialogue in the BJP anymore and the party’s top brass “doesn’t value its own people and views opponents as their enemies”.
Party veterans are not being looked after in the BJP and are being sent to ‘Margdarshak Mandal’, he alleged.
“In the BJP, democracy has slowly and surely turned into dictatorship. The party has become a one-man show and a two-men army,” Sinha alleged.
In an apparent reference to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, he said, “People have called your bluff and understood your hollow promises. You have been exposed.”
The roadblock to transformation
The 72-year-old leader said whenever he tried to make a point, he was called a traitor.
“If speaking the truth is rebellion, then I am a rebel,” he added.
He also said the country would have transformed if the money spent by the BJP’s on its publicity campaigns was spent on development.
Lauding the Congress’ proposed NYAY scheme, he said such a proposal has never been unveiled in the country.
Sinha represents Bihar’s Patna Sahib seat in the Lok Sabha. He is all set to take on the BJP’s Ravi Shankar Prasad in the constituency.
Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala, AICC in-charge for party’s Bihar unit Shaktisinh Gohil welcomed Sinha into the party.
The Congress Saturday fielded Sinha as its Lok Sabha poll candidate from the Patna Sahib constituency in Bihar, hours after he joined the party quitting the BJP.
The 72-year-old Sinha, the incumbent MP from the seat, will face senior BJP leader and Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad.
The Congress also announced that former Himachal Pradesh minister Ramlal Thakur will contest from the Hamirpur Lok Sabha seat in the state against sitting BJP MP Anurag Thakur.
377names have been announced by the party for the Lok Sabha elections
In Punjab, the party fielded Jasbir Singh Gill Dimpa from Khadoor Sahib, former IAS officer Amar Singh from Fatehgarh Sahib (reserve), and folk singer Mohammed Sadique from the Faridkot Lok Sabha seat.
With the latest list of five candidates, a total of 377 names have been announced by the party for the Lok Sabha elections.
The names were announced after party leaders from Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Bihar met Congress president Rahul Gandhi earlier during the day.
Among those present during the meeting were: Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, AICC secretary and the party’s Punjab affairs in-charge Asha Kumari, Himachal Pradesh Congress chief Kuldeep Rathore and state CLP leader Mukesh Agnihotri.