Shatrughan Sinha: Yes, I’ve joined hands with Soniaji, Rahul and Priyanka!

Shatrughan Sinha has finally  belled the cat. Abandoning  the  BJP  the party that he  feels sidelined and  snubbed him, he has joined hands with the Congress I. With the  move made official, Subhash K Jha catches up with his  favourite  politician-actor.

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So  you  have finally done what we  knew for some time?

(laughs  heartilyRaaz ki baat jo sab jaante the. Open Secret,  Yes, I’ve  joined hands with Soniaji, Rahul and Priyanka. I am now part  of  the Congress I.


Why? Why did I  choose to join Congress I? It was a decision taken after  much deliberation and thought.And  why not? The  Congress  is the party that  brought us kicking and dragging into Free India. It gave us national legends  like  Sardar Vallabhai  Patel, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru …

That  was  in  the  past . Where are  the  leaders  of that stature  in the Congress now?

Well, we could give the same argument  for  the  BJP. I  joined hands with them because of  the great leaders  like  L K Advaniji and Atal Bihariji. Leadership has  to change. Today  the Congress is in the hands   of Rahul Gandhi.

He  was  trolled mercilessly until  very recently?

But Rahul has evolved in  the past year or so .He is no longer  ridiculed.  Besides his sister Priyanka has  also  joined hands  with Rahul. We  have  to give him a chance. I was  happy when he spoke to me  and  said he is very happy to welcome me  to  the party.

 Yes,  you and Urmila Matondkar?

The  more  the merrier. I think  the Congress is  the  political future of India . It  saw  India through  its toughest times. It’s time to  give them  another chance.

So what prompted  you to t make the  move from BJP to Congress I?
Many factors.  I was  not being treated  properly by  the  BJP. When they  announced Ravi Shankar Prasadji as their  candidate from my seat in Patna something gave way inside me. I ceased  being a loyal soldier  of  the  BJP.Not that I intend  to badmouth anyone from  the  BJP. I  respect  the senior leaders . They are my  colleagues and friends and I am not into the politics  of  mudslinging. I hope they feel the same.

Your daughter Sonakshi feels you should’ve left  the BJP long ago?

(laughs) Achcha. When did she say  that? How sweet  of  her !  I am in Muscat where they’re honouring me as a cinematic legend. My family has been advising me to  do the right thing in my political career. And not just they.  My dear family friend Lalu Yadavji also wanted  me to join hands with  the Congress I.

Do  you think  the  Congress will accord you  the  respect you deserve?

 I feel welcome  here. As you  know  I  was  unhappy with my position  in  the  BJP for a long time. The  party leadership  knew I  was  unhappy. No one  came  forward  to speak to me. There  was  no dialogue at all. It was as  if they had  shut me  out.I didn’t have to suffer this humiliation.But I stayed on  out of loyalty. But now I feel it’s  time to move on.

What are you plans as  a Congress member?

To serve   the  country and  to end  the  culture  of  intolerance that has taken over  the nation.  If you  criticize  a  government  policy you are not anti-India. If you  say Kashmir is burning you are  not  pro-Pakistan.

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