Disgruntled BJP leader Shatrughan Sinha on Tuesday visited a Durga Puja ‘pandal’ in Patna along with RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav and placed a ’tilak’ on his forehead, calling it “rajyabhishek” (coronation).
The Patna Sahib MP, who has often been critical of his own party and the Narendra Modi-led central government on many issues, was seen along with the RJD heir apparent at the Puja pandal in Dak Bungalow Road.
Before departing, Sinha told reporters, “Tejashwi is young and endowed with leadership qualities. My best wishes and blessings are with him and thus, I performed his ‘rajyabishek’ hoping that he carries Bihar forward”.
The actor-turned-politician also sang the opening lines of an old Hindi song “ab tumhare hawale watan sathiyon” (the nation is now in your hands). Tejashwi (29), son of RJD supremo Lalu Prasad, is the Leader of the Opposition in the state assembly.
“Shatrughan Sinha is like my guardian. He is an old friend of my father. I am humbled by his blessings and the high expectations he has from me,” he said.
Sinha, who has served as Union minister in the NDA government-led by Atal Bihari Vajpayee, has displayed his proximity to the Lalu family on a number of occasions recently.
He had gone to Ranchi to meet the RJD supremo where he is serving sentences in a number of fodder scam cases. He also met Lalu and Tejashwi here on the sidelines of the marriage of the RJD chief’s elder son Tej Pratap Yadav.
Sinha popularly called ‘Bihari Babu’ also attended the Iftaar party hosted by Tejashwi during the month of Ramzan, while giving similar events organized by his own party leaders a slip.
Besides, he has also been frequently sharing stage with many former BJP leaders, who have now turned fierce critics of the party like Yashwant Sinha and Arun Shourie.
He has also, in his tweets, been showering praises on leaders like Mamata Banerjee and Arvind Kejriwal, both of whom are engaged in a fierce political battle with the BJP in their respective states.
No BJP leader has come out with a statement on the latest episode, though in the past some of them have expressed their displeasure over Sinha’s defiant ways.
Soon after the former actor shared stage with Yashwant Sinha at a function where the latter announced severing of his ties with the BJP, Bihar Deputy CM Sushil Modi had stated that the Patna Sahib MP should “follow the example of his mentor”.
Moreover, recently Rajya Sabha member R K Sinha had come out with a scathing criticism of the actor-turned-politician over his tweets questioning the prime minister on the Rafale deal and asked whether he (Sinha) stood with Modi or his opponents.
Sinha has, however, stuck to his guns and responded to murmurs about him not getting a ticket from Patna Sahib in 2019 with the cryptic remark, “Situation may be different, location will be the same – Patna Sahib”.