There’s a storm brewing among the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) brass over who will contest from the newly-created Patna Saheb seat in the Lok Sabha polls.
Two-term Rajya Sabha member and former Bollywood actor Shatrughan Sinha and former Information and Broadcasting Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad have already crossed swords over the Patna Saheb seat.
Sinha claimed in a newspaper interview in July 2008 that he was set to contest the Lok Sabha polls from Patna Saheb on a BJP ticket. But it evoked sharp reactions from Ravi Shankar Prasad, who is also eyeing the seat for entering the Lok Sabha.
Prasad who is in the third year of his second successive Rajya Sabha term and clearly fancies a seat in the Lok Sabha.
However, Sinha’s apparent allusion to some kind of assurance he might have received from BJP leader Lal Krishna Advani surprised the state BJP leaders. For, none in the Bihar unit have any inkling of any such promise given by Advani. But no one is prepared to question the claim in public, either.
Bihar BJP president Radha Mohan Singh, for one, confessed he could not comment on national-level leaders like Sinha and Prasad. He said, “It’s in the public domain. I have nothing to add to that.” BJP organising secretary Hriday N. Singh echoed, “My lips are sealed.”
Even the Janata Dal-United (JD-U) spokesperson and MP Shivanand Tiwari, who is usually forthright, was guarded in his reaction.
He told HT, “Patna Saheb is a BJP seat. It is for the party to decide whom it wants to field.”