Former union minister and BJP MP Shatrughan Sinha is said to be preparing to give a `big blow’ to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for ignoring him in the party and also in the government, since 2014, by contesting against him at Varanasi in 2019 polls. It may be recalled that Sinha is not losing any occasion to openly criticise Modi and his governance in public. He has been openly associating with big critics of Modi and also even opposition party leaders on numerous occasions.
Known for his proximity with senior BJP leaders Vajapeyi and L K Advani, he was unhappy for not inducting him into the Modi cabinet and also even not allowing him to take party in BJP poll campaigns, even in his home state Bihar. Earlier, he used to be party’s star campaigner in several states.
Though he is still continuing as BJP MP and the party is hesitating to take disciplinary action against him, for all practical purposes he is not having any role in the party. And BJP has given clear indications that he will not be party’s nominee in 2019 polls. Several opposition parties, including Congress and RJD inviting him to contest as their party candidate.
According to the Times of India, Samajwadi Party leadership is now thinking on the lines of offering a ticket to Sinha if he chooses to quit the BJP ahead of the crucial 2019 polls. While matching the Prime Minister’s popularity in Benaras may be debatable, yet, Sinha can’t be completely ruled out. He is a known face and has considerable support from the ‘Kayastha’ community of Varanasi. Also, the latest Gujarat exodus of migrant workers from UP and Bihar may impact the BJP’s electoral fortune.