LS POLLS: Miffed Shatru quits BJP to join Congress; Jaya Prada abandons SP to take BJP ticket


NEW DELHI: Ageing Bollywood actor from Bihar, Shotgun Shatrughan Sinha, on Tuesday announced his decision to quit the BJP and join the Congress. This, after he was denied a ticket for the Lok Sabha polls from Patna Sahib constituency. A former Union minister under the Atal Behari Vajpayee-led NDA government, he was not given any major post by PM Modi though he continued as MP for this term as well. 

Shatrughan has been with the BJP ever since its inception in the 198os.

The BJP had not given tickets to veteran leader LK Advani who represented Gandhinagar in Gujarat as also Murli Manohar Joshi, who represented the Kanpur LS seat from Uttar Pradesh. Joshi wrote to his followers Tuesday, saying he was denied ticket by the party this time and that he felt being insulted. 

Jaya Prada … another somersault…
Meanwhile, SP politician and actress Jaya Prada quit the party and joined the BJP on Tuesday. She had started with the Telugu Desam in the 1990s, and later migrated to the SP. Earlier, former cricketer Gautam Gambhir joined the BJP, saying he was attracted by the leadership of PM Modi. Jaya Prada will be fielded by the BJP from Rampur LS constituency.

Shatrughan Sinha had been on a tangent against PM Modi and the BJP for quite some time. Under the notion that no one could touch him, the politician who draws his support from the powerful Kayastha community had recently showed himself up at an anti-Modi rally got up by chief minister Mamata Banerjee in Kolkata and some time ago attended a similar opposition rally in Chennai organised by DMK-UPA leaderships to target BJP and Modi.
Shotgun Sinha, 72, will join the Congress at an event in New Delhi on March 28, according to a senior Congress leader in Patna. Both Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi are expected to be present to receive Sinha into the party, Sinha has said. Meanwhile, Union law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, who has been given the Patna Sahib seat for contest this time by the BJP, flew in in Patna on Tuesday to face protests from young supporters of Shatrughan Sinha over denial of ticket to him. Police laid a protective ring and led Prasad out of the airport. 

Meanwhile, the BJP has given tickets to Union minister Maneka Gandhi and her son Varun Gandhi, 39, for contest this time again. The two have swapped their constituencies though. Maneka will now contest from Sultanpur held by her son, and Varun will contest from Pilibhit held by mother Maneka. Sultanpur is close to Amethi, where Varun’s brother Rahul Gandhi will take on Union minister Smriti Irani. 

Union minister Manoj Sinha has been refielded from Ghazipur, UP miniser Rita Bahuguna Joshi will be fielded from Allahabad and young Satyadev Pachauri from Kanpur held earlier by MM Joshi. UP BJP president Mahendra Nath Pandey has been fielded again from Chandrauli. IHN=NN


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