Shatrughan Sinha To Join Congress On March 28, Says Party Leadertext_fields
Patna: Bollywood actor-turned-politician Shatrughan Sinha, who has been associated with BJP for about three decades, will join Congress at New Delhi on March 28, a senior party leader said in Bihar capital Patna on Tuesday.
"Shatrughan Sinha will join Congress in New Delhi on March 28 at 11.30 am ... He will be our candidate from Patna Sahib", chairman for the state Congress election campaign committee Akhilesh Prasad Singh told reporters.
Mr Sinha is a two-term BJP Lok Sabha member from Patna Sahib Singh but has been dropped by the party which has chosen to field union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad from the seat.
Mr 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.
Asked whether Mr Sinha would be inducted in the party in the presence of AICC president Rahul Gandhi, as was being speculated in the media, Mr Singh 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 Mr Sinha's candidature as Lalu Yadav's party, with which Mr Sinha shares cordial relations, was said to be keen on fielding him on its own symbol.
Congress has been contesting from Patna Sahib whenever it has fought the Lok Sabha polls in alliance with the RJD and Mr Singh's statement indicate that decks have been cleared for Mr Sinha's candidature by the Congress leadership.
Mr Singh, however, dodged queries about Kirti Azad, another BJP lawmaker who had recently joined the Congress, saying he will be contesting elections. On being asked from where, it will be decided by the party, Mr Singh said.
Mr Azad is serving his second consecutive term in the Lok Sabha from Darbhanga and the Congress wants to field him from the seat as the constituency has a large population of Maithil Brahmins its traditional supporters.
RJD has been insisting that it has won the Darbhanga seat many times and would like to contest it again with its senior leader Abdul Bari Siddiqui as its candidate.