Patna: It is pointless to fret over who would be the prime ministerial candidate of the opposition, since what matters is clarity as to who must be stopped from returning as PM, actor-turned-politician Shatrughan Sinha said.
The Trinamool Congress MP also called his party chief and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee a “tried and tested” leader who would be a “game-changer” in next year’s Lok Sabha polls.
“It appears ‘achche din’ (good days) of my friend, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, are over,” said Shatrughan Sinha, who quit the BJP four years ago, famously saying that the party had become a “one man show, two man army”.
“We have been hearing this talk of who will be the leader since long. People used to ask the same question till Nehru was around. It is pointless for the opposition to occupy itself with this thought. The important part is, there is clarity with regard to who must be stopped from returning as PM,” the former Union minister told reporters on Wednesday night.
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Sinha, who had contested as a Congress candidate in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls but failed to do a hat-trick in Patna Sahib, also said he viewed Rahul Gandhi as a “capable” (‘kaabil’) leader, but sought to steer clear of the debate around the party “leading” the united opposition.
The TMC leader also said he had high regard for Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and the latter’s efforts to forge opposition unity, but pointed out “he has ruled himself out of the race for prime ministership”.
About the buzz around Tejashwi Yadav becoming the CM of Bihar in future, the stylish actor of yore popularly known as ‘shotgun’ by virtue of his gift of the gab, backed the young RJD leader with trademark irreverence.
“If Narendra Modi can become the Prime Minister of the country, what is the problem with poor Tejashwi? Anybody who enjoys popular support can rise in politics,” the Asansol MP said.
On the Shiv Sena imbroglio, Sinha said “I think the game has just begun and Supreme Court will do justice”, while tending to agree with NCP chief Sharad Pawar’s outbursts against the Election Commission of India.
The Uddhav Thackeray faction has approached the top court, challenging the decision of the Election Commission recognising the Eknath Shinde-led bloc as the real Shiv Sena and allotting the ‘bow and arrow’ poll symbol to it.