Bollywood star-turned-politician Shatrughan Sinha, who has been sulking for quite some time for not being given prominence within the BJP, recently stayed away from the party`s two-day national executive in Patna.
In an exclusive chat with Zeenews.com’s Swati Chaturvedi on Kahiye Janab, Shatrughan Sinha shared his views on the BJP’s changing face, on why he is unhappy with the party, and much more.
Here are the excerpts:
Swati: If the BJP is India’s Hindu-undivided party, then now a days a lot of Mahabharat is being played in the party. Is the BJP unhappy with Shatrughan Sinha or Shatrughan is sad with the way party is functioning. What do you have to say?
Sinha: No, I am neither happy nor sad with the party. Instead, I am worried about the party’s health and its future.
Swati: In a democracy, the principal opposition party should be strong and determined. So, what has happened to the BJP?
Sinha: In BJP, talented persons like Mr Yashwant Sinha are nowhere to be seen. Ms Sushma Swaraj, who is so successful, skillful and has all good qualities, is not being allowed to go ahead and her path is being hindered. Why are we not following in her footsteps…? I always keep quiet as I do not have any post right now.
Swati: You were not given any ticket in the previous elections. Even in Patna, which is your native place, why don’t you fight for Bihar chief minister’s position?
Sinha: See, I do not have any desire to become Bihar’s chief minister. I also do not have any expectation from the party and also there is no vacancy for this position.
Swati: Why... that means you want to remain a junior partner only. In films, you were the ‘hero’ but here you have become ‘supporting actor’?
Sinha: Right now, Mr Nitish Kumar is Bihar’s CM. But, in public’s eyes, I am still a hero. After the elections, everybody will come to know that who the real hero is. Nitishji is a good politician and we all should support him.
Many people don’t want me to contest from Patna. The party had promised me that I can contest from any corner of the country but there were many people who created problems and obstructed my way.
It is said that ‘stability is born out of chaos’. There were blessings of common people and I won marginally. Some people even wanted me to contest from Delhi where the condition is so critical.
Swati: If Yashwant Sinha is a good politician, then why did his name not come to your mind when he is having a bit of ‘administrative experience’ as well. Why did a person like Madhu Koda was chosen (for Jharkhand CM’s post)?
Sinha: Yes, I still say that if Yashwant Sinha had fought last elections in Jharkhand, then the results would have been much better. There was no excitement among the party members and whatever happened was wrong for the disintegrating government of Jharkhand.
Swati: Now, let’s talk about the Hindutva basics. Atalji is still with us. The person who fought against Atalji in Lucknow elections last year and also defended Afzal Guru in the Supreme Court, Mr Ram Jethmalani will be representing your party in Rajya Sabha. All this when the biggest agenda of your party is that the person who attacked the heart of India – the Parliament – should be hanged?
Sinha: I do not have any authority to answer this question as I am not occupying any post right now. I have been associated with this party for a long time in all its joys and sorrows. There are many people who were elected to the Cabinet with reasons like caste and state. Five people were elected from Bihar and I played a big role in their campaign and victory. My name was not even mentioned in the nominations.
Still, I kept quiet, but I asked that if there is quota for jats, dalits, SC/STs & OBCs, then why is there no provision of quota for people from the art & culture and sports fields. I was the one who came forward for the party’s struggle from Kanyakumari to Kashmir. I was sent everywhere to become a ‘scape-goat’.
Swati: Hema Malini became the vice president. Smriti Irani was sent to Rajya Sabha. The candidature of Ram Jethmalani and even Jaya Bachchan is also being considered. What’s your take on that?
Sinha: (Laughs) It is totally Nitin Gadkari’s choice as president of the BJP to select right people for the party. Nitin is a good friend of mine and I respect him a lot. I do not have any comments on whether he respects me or not. It is his own choice.
Swati: Nitin Gadkari has converted a once ‘national party’ into a ‘Maharashtrian party’…
Sinha: I think party members should be from all the states and there should be no regionalism and casteism in that.
Swati: Mr Sinha, you have been upset for a long time. When will this period end? Why is nobody listening to you?
Sinha: I am not saying anything these days. I am just observing silently whatever is happening.
Swati: Even Poonam Sinha is not getting due consideration in Rajya Sabha? Her mistake is that she is your wife. There was a time when there was no ‘defining DNA’ of hereditary politics…
Sinha: According to me, Poonam is a leader. There are many people who have been elected in the name of other people. So, I just want to be silent at this point of time. I don’t want to seek any position from BJP.
Adaptation: Preeti Panwar