Union Health Minister Shatrughan Sinha was recently all but abandoned by the BJP's campaign managers in Gujarat.
On December 9, his birthday, Sinha reportedly sat twiddling his thumbs in his Vadodara hotel. Two days ago, the party had failed to provide him with a helicopter to attend a scheduled election meeting at Kheda.
Sinha's planned Gujarat campaign went sour almost as soon as he landed in Vadodra. It seems there was no one to receive or escort him to his hotel. He made it on his own, only to be told to wait for a "go ahead" for his meetings. He had been scheduled to begin his campaign at Limdi, and end it in Ahmedabad's Maninagar on Tuesday.
A frantic Sinha reportedly had to make several phone-calls to the party's Vadodara and Ahmedabad units before he was sent an altered programme: he was to address only one meeting in Nadiad before leaving Gujarat. There would be no chopper.
In Vadodara, BJP functionary Rajesh Parikh, also in-charge of chopper coordination, said he had no information on Sinha's programme or on providing a copter to him: "There must be a communication gap," he said.
BJP spokesperson Mukhtar Naqvi feigned ignorance, claiming Sinha had addressed "some meetings". Sinha loyalists said it was his party's indifference that resulted in Sinha’s packing his bags and leaving Gujarat. Sinha was not available for comment.