Actor-turned-politician Shatrughan Sinha’s renomination as BJP nominee for the Patna Sahib seat has led to unease in the Bihar BJP, which earlier opposed the idea.
The selection of Sinha, who had attacked the party’s PM nominee Narendra Modi several times, led to local leaders alleging that he had “got away” by “blackmailing” the party.
Sinha’s name was announced after much speculation as he had threatened to shift to Janata Dal(U) and contest as its candidate if the BJP did not make him its nominee.
He is said to have conveyed to central BJP leaders that he had an offer from his close friend, Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar, to contest on his party’s ticket if the BJP did not consider his name.
Sinha was chosen despite BJP’s internal surveys favoured senior party leader Ravi Shankar Prasad, who had a rating of 72%, while Sinha’s own rating had dipped to minus 46%, party officials said.
Sinha, a former Cabinet minister, earlier praised Nitish Kumar as “PM material” and, thus, prepared the ground for shifting to the JD(U).
But Advani, who had insisted on Sinha’s renomination in 2009, again wanted the party to give him a ticket.
In 2009, Sinha won the Patna Sahib seat, defeating another film celebrity Shekhar Suman.