Projecting me as CM could have made a difference: Shatrughan Sinha

Original Bihari Babu hits back at party leaders for inducting leaders from Maharashtra, Punjab and Delhi to micromanage the campaign in Bihar; claims his presence would have ensured more seats if not victory

New Delhi: BJP MP Shatrughan Sinha has said there could have been some difference in his party’s showing in the Bihar Assembly polls had he been projected as its chief ministerial candidate.

Shatrughan Sinha and lalu Prasad
What's cooking? Shatrughan Sinha in conversation with RJD supremo Lalu Prasad in Patna yesterday. Pic/PTI

“I am not bragging, but I do feel that when the ‘laadla’ (darling) of Bihari people, the ‘dhartiputra’ (son of the soil) and the original Bihari Babu was deliberately sidelined, it definitely had an impact on my supporters and fans,” Sinha said.

He added, “I can’t say how much difference it could have been, but I can definitely say... we could have got more seats than what we got.”

The BJP won 53 seats in the 243-member assembly while its three allies together bagged just five seats. The Grand Alliance —JD-U, RJD and Congress — won 178 seats.

However, Sinha didn’t say if it was Sushil Modi, the BJP’s former deputy chief minister, who sidelined him during the election campaign.

“We all belong to one family, and we should rather learn our lessons from defeat by introspecting and fixing accountability,” he said. “Like R K Singh, the former home secretary and a mature person, said, there must be introspection, and accountability
must be fixed so that we can take this defeat as a challenge and convert it into an opportunity.”

Hitting out at the party leadership, for inducting leaders from outside to micromanage the campaign in Bihar, Sinha said, “A large number of leaders were collected from outside, some from Punjab, some from Maharashtra and Delhi, who were completely out of touch with grassroots and ground reality, who did not understand the caste equations here, nor had control over the local dialects.

Such people were stationed here for months together, so much money, talent and energy were spent, and what was the result? We did not learn from the earlier defeat in Delhi. It showed desperation. We lost badly, and that makes me sad.”

However, he added, “I have said it earlier and I repeat it now, the BJP shall be my first and probably last party. I joined this party when it had two MPs and today it commands a majority.”

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