Former BJP minister Shatrughan Singh on Tuesday lashed out at author Chetan Bhagat for commenting against party patriarch LK Advani, but ended up taking potshots at the leadership for pushing the old guard to the periphery of active politics.
Sinha launched a Twitter tirade against Bhagat for the author’s “unwarranted comparison” between Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi and Advani. At a television interview recently, Bhagat had said Gandhi was not result-oriented and should be removed from his position. Sinha’s tweets implied that Bhagat had suggested Advani too was “removed” because he did not work enough to bring desired results.
Sinha went on to say Advani was not removed, but attributed his absence to “in-house politics”.
“I beg your pardon Chetan! Was he really removed because he did not work enough, or was he not allowed to work any further and eased out of the scene because some of our people, out of fears, complexes, insecurities or maybe vested interests did not want him on the scene,” wrote Sinha, without naming anyone.
Sinha also proudly proclaimed himself “an Advani loyalist”.
I am an Advani loyalist. Whatever I am in the Party is mainly because of him. The growth and prosperity of the party from 2 seats.....— Shatrughan Sinha (@ShatruganSinha) 28 February 2017
...to where it reached, if not wholly and solely, has been mostly because of Mr. Advani’s contribution and leadership....— Shatrughan Sinha (@ShatruganSinha) 28 February 2017
Known for his candour, this is not the first time Sinha has trained guns on his own party colleagues. During the Bhiar elections in 2015, the actor-turned-politician had given Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s rally a miss, while praising Bihar CM Nitish Kumar, calling him a man of development. He even met Kumar the day Modi attacked him at a public meeting.
Sinha also raised eyebrows after a meeting Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and praising his performance, which fuelled speculation that he could be joining the Aam Aadmi Party.
On Tuesday, however, Sinha was quick to add the disclaimer that he remains a party loyalist, but not before acknowledging that he had been kept out of the campaign for the five-state assembly elections that are underway.
“…Today, he (Advani) or even people like me are not seen anywhere in any campaign.... not because we are not tried, tested and effective, but because of, you may call it in-house politics. We believe in discipline of the party and we do not create a scene. We are not invited...and well, today we are not even interested, at the fag end of the campaign,” he tweeted.