Actor-turned-politician and BJP rebel leader Shatrughan Sinha on Thursday said that he will join the Congress during Navaratri next month.
“Joining will happen soon, we will give you positive news during Navaratri. I will join Congress now,” Sinha told reporters.
Following the announcement, Sinha also met Congress President Rahul Gandhi.
Shatrughan Sinha, a two-term BJP Lok Sabha member from Patna Sahib Singh was dropped by the saffron party which chose to field union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad from the seat.
On being asked if he will contest from Patna Sahib, Sinha said: “whatever be the situation, the location will be same”.
Congress In-charge of Bihar, Shakti Singh Gohil said that Sinha will join the Congress and will work as the party’s star leader and star campaigner for upcoming Lok Sabha polls.
The actor-politician, who served as a Cabinet minister in the NDA ministry of Atal Bihari Vajpayee and was a star campaigner for BJP for a long time before falling out with the current leadership after being ignored in the 2015 Bihar Assembly polls, has been critical of the party functioning, alleging all power is vested in one leader (Prime Minister Narendra Modi) and two-men Army (Modi and BJP president Amit Shah).
Interestingly, Sinha has neither prefixed the ‘Chowkidar’ tag to his Twitter name like other BJP leaders nor has replaced the header image, which has the BJP symbol alongside his photo.
72-year-old Sinha, who has been a vocal critic of Prime Minister Narendra Modi since 2014, had earlier called Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s NYAY scheme for the poor a “masterstroke”.
On 15 March – a day before BJP’s central election committee meeting – Sinha posted a tweet where he hinted that he might no longer be part of the party.
He has also attended anti-BJP rallies called by various opposition parties including West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.
Bihar will see polling in seven phases on all the dates between 11 April and 19 May. The counting will happen on 23 May and the results will be announced on the same day.