What Shatrughan Sinha Said On Trinamool Nomination

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Congress Chapter Over? What Shatrughan Sinha Said On Trinamool Nomination

Shatrughan Sinha had joined the Congress after quitting the BJP.

New Delhi:

Actor-politician Shatrughan Sinha on Monday expressed his gratitude to West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress president Mamata Banerjee for nominating him from Asansol for the Lok Sabha by-election and brushed off the “outsider” taunt by his opponents.

“Banerjee holds the future of the country. I will strengthen her hands in expanding “Khela Hobe‘ across the country,” Mr Sinha, who has been a Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha member for two terms each, was quoted as saying by news agency PTI.

Khela hobe” (game on) was the battle cry of Ms Banerjee in last year’s Bengal elections that saw the Trinamool emerge victorious against the unmitigated might of the BJP led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah.

Asked whether he has quit the Congress for the Trinamool, he said, “I will only say I have joined Banerjee in her fight for the communal harmony and welfare of the poor.”

“I feel honoured by Mamata Banerjee herself announcing my name as the TMC candidate from Asansol in the Lok Sabha by-poll. She is a tried, tested and successful politician who holds the nation’s future hope against ‘divisive politics’ pursued by the government of the day,” Mr Sinha told PTI.

After quitting the BJP, Mr Sinha, who had served as minister in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government, joined the Congress and unsuccessfully fought from his hometown Patna Sahib Lok Sabha constituency in 2019. He was defeated by former Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad in the last parliamentary election and since then has maintained a low profile.

“How can anybody call me an ‘outsider’? Like my ‘janmabhoomi’ (birthplace) Bihar, Bengal has always been my weakness. I have done a large number of movies including the national award-winning film ‘Antor Koli Jatra’ in Bangla language,” he said.

“Moreover, Asansol has a cosmopolitan population where besides my dear Bengali people, citizens from Bihar, Jharkhand and elsewhere are residing there in great numbers. If I am called an ‘outsider’ in Asansol, will you say the same for the Prime Minister contesting election from Varanasi?” he said.

On choosing the Trinamool, he said, “One should go in a new and better direction to do something good for the country.”

Notwithstanding being in a different party, Mr Sinha said he always had a good relationship with Ms Banerjee.

“Being a BJP MP I had participated in her opposition rally at Brigade Maidan in Kolkata in 2019. I have always appreciated her dynamic leadership and it will be a privilege for me to work in the party headed by her,” Mr Sinha said.

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