M A I N   N E W S

Bihari Babu won’t campaign for BJP
Writes letter to Advani
Swati Chaturvedi

New Delhi, August 10
It’s Union Minister, Lalu Prasad Yadav’s dream come true as a sulking “Bihari Babu” Shatrughan Sinha has formally told the BJP party president that he will not be joining the party’s beleaguered campaign for the Bihar elections.

In fact during the recent phases of the BJP’s lacklustre Nyay Yatra Shatrughan Sinha chose to go on an “international yatra” — during the first phase to the United States and during the second to Pakistan.

Now while the BJP is desperate that he should join the Nyay Yatra Shatrughan Sinha, say party sources, is off to the USA after the current session of Parliament. He will not campaign in Bihar even for a day.

Senior BJP leaders revealed to The Tribune that Shatrughan Sinha had written two detailed letters to Mr Lal Krishna Advani expressing anguish over the way he had been treated. It is learnt that Mr Advani has not bothered even to formally acknowledge the letters thus angering Shatrughan.

A senior BJP leader in charge of the Bihar campaign said: “When we asked him to campaign he sarcastically told us ‘the win is in your account so is the loss. I have nothing to do with this”.

When contacted by The Tribune Shatrughan Sinha refused to comment saying it was a matter between him and his party.

In his twin letters to Mr Advani, Shatrughan lays bare his heart chalking out his deteriorating relationship with the BJP with its bitter inner party wrangling.

He is believed to have pointed out that “when a campaign of calumny was launched against me when I was a Union Minister in the BJP-led NDA government nobody from the party defended me. I have seen on numerous occasions that even minister’s accused of corruption have been defended by the party.” Shatrughan Sinha felt that he was thrown to the wolves because the second-generation leaders were of panicky decisions in order to ensure his favourities’ place, such as the appointment of Mr Modi as campaign in charge. These decisions angered Shatrughan Sinha and ensured that in his second letter he firmly bowed out of the Bihar campaign.

Says a senior leader: “Shatrughan Sinha is a huge crowd puller. Can we really replace his meetings with those addressed by Venkaiah Naidu.”

Shatrughan Sinha’s sore also because the party had during the last election virtually promised to project him as their CM candidate. The BJP later reneged on its promise and threw its weight behind Nitish Kumar.

Despite, this Shatrughan chose to campaign for the party.

This time around while all parties agree that it is a “historical opportunity to rid Bihar of Lalu Raj” Shatrughan Sinha has joined the growing ranks of BJP rebels.

— The correspondent, who is an anchor of SAB TV, regularly writes for The Tribune.


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