BJP Twitter war: Shatrughan Sinha, Sushil Modi face-off over Kejriwal and Lalu
Two senior BJP leaders, Shatrughan Sinha and Sushil Modi, are at loggerheads over the party’s targeting of Lalu Prasad and Arvind Kejriwal over corruption charges.india Updated: May 22, 2017 21:18 IST
A Twitter war broke out in the BJP on Monday as two senior leaders took potshots at each other over the party’s campaign against Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad.
“Enough of negative politics & mudslinging by opponents on our political leaders, be it Kejriwal, Laloo Yadav or Sushil Modi,” BJP parliamentarian Shatrughan Sinha tweeted.
“High time to substantiate your claim...or pack up. Can’t just keep feeding media with one night stories & sensationalising. Enough is enough.”
BJP’s Bihar leader Sushil Kumar Modi reacted with anger, sending out several tweets denouncing Sinha and demanding his expulsion from the party.
Sinha, a Bollywood actor-turned-politician from Bihar, had embarrassed the party on earlier occasions also, criticising senior leaders and taking contradictory stands.
The MP from Patna Saheb, Sinha was ignored by the party during the 2015 Bihar assembly polls for what the party believed was his close rapport with Lalu Parasad and Janata Dal (United) leader Nitish Kumar. Sinha was not part of the party’s campaign team.
The Kumar-led alliance of JD(U), RJD and Congress trounced BJP in the polls.
In another tweet, Sinha wrote, “Our BJP surely believes in honesty & transparency, which seldom go together, but must go together. An allegation is only that unless proved!”
The BJP has attacked Lalu, accusing him of amassing assets in the name of his children that is disproportionate to their known sources of income. The income tax department has raided several locations over the charges.
Sinha said he holds all political leaders, especially Kejriwal, in high esteem for their “credibility, struggle & commitment”.
Kejriwal is also in the line of BJP’s fire for allegedly benefiting one of his relatives through a government contract. One of his former ministerial colleague, Kapil Mishra, too, has accused the AAP founder of taking Rs 2 crore in cash from another minister, Satyendar Jain.
The star-politician’s defence of the two leaders did not go well with Sushil Kumar Modi, who asked the party to show the doors to “traitors”.
“BJP’s Shatru has jumped to the defence of the benami properties of Lalu who is not even being defended by Nitish Kumar,” Modi tweeted, using one part of the actor-politician’s name which translates to enemy.
“It is not necessary to trust every popular person. The traitors should be show the doors at the earliest.”
Sinha, who earned the sobriquet Shotgun for his famous filmy retort ‘khamosh’ (be silent), responded to Modi’s charge, saying that “positive and constructive criticism” should not be taken as rebellion.
“Some people who are wholly & solely responsible for our party’s debacle in Bihar are today crying hoarse, hoping to regain their lost image at the cost of some senior and popular colleagues who have an impeccable image,” Sinha said.
Sinha asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah to take note of the “unparliamentarily utterances” of some people against a senior and party loyalist.
“Sycophants criticise for the sake of criticism & get low & personal. I pray that God should spare them for they know not what they speak,” he wrote in another tweet.
But Sushil Kumar Modi was unrelenting.
“BJP’s Shatru had boycotted the campaign in 2005, but we formed the government,” he said on the micro blogging site, in an apparent reference to Sinha’s decision to abstain from campaign after he was not named as the BJP’s chief ministerial face.
Deputy chief minister Tejashwi Prasad Yadav – facing graft charges -- came in support of Sinha to target Modi.
“Jo apko “Shatru” kahta hai wah khud “Sushil” kaise hua. Unhe BJP mein aap aur Kirti Azad jaise aneko chune huye janpratinidhiyo se samasya hai (How can one who calls you an enemy, be a gentleman. He (Modi) has problem with all elected representatives, like you and Kiri Azad, in the BJP),” Yadav tweeted in reply to Sinha.
Chief spokesperson of ruling alliance, JD (U)’s Sanjay Singh, also backed Sinha, saying “the man who launched BJP when it was merely a party of two MPs has been sidelined within the party. This reflects character of BJP.”
Sinha had earlier termed the PM’s decision to hold a road show during the UP assembly elections as a “sign of desperation” and termed demonetisation “a well intended but badly executed move”.