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Bihar polls: Shatrughan targets Modi

Speaking at a function in Nagpur on Saturday night, disgruntled BJP MP Shatrughan Sinha said the “credit” for the seats won by the party in Bihar went to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and claimed that the PM's attack on RJD chief Lalu Prasad backfired.  

Firing a fresh salvo at Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the Bihar poll debacle, disgruntled Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Shatrughan Sinha has said the “credit” for the seats won by the party in the State goes to Mr. Modi and claimed that his attack on Rashtriya Janata Dal supremo (RJD) Lalu Prasad backfired.

Jibe at PM

“All the credit goes to Modiji for the number seats won by BJP in Bihar and there should not be any doubt about it,” Mr. Sinha said while taking a jibe at the PM.

The actor-turned-politician, who had been sulking after he was left out of the electioneering, said it was because of the “aggressive campaigning” by Mr. Modi that the BJP fetched 53 seats.

‘Bahari’ vs Bihari Babu

“Probably, Mr. Modi was kept in dark about ground realities in Bihar by the party leadership. Outsiders were at the helm of affairs for electioneering, whereas ‘Bihari Babu’ [referring to himself], whom people of Patna sent to Parliament by a margin of lakhs, was deliberately kept out of the campaign, which also people [voters] took seriously and defeated the BJP,” Mr. Sinha told a select group of mediapersons here on Saturday night.

The MP from Patna Sahib said the anti-incumbency factor did not work against Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.

‘Victory in the making’

“There was no anti-incumbency factor against Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and the day the ‘grand alliance’ of Nitish Kumar-Lalu Prasad Yadav-Congress was formed, they won half the election,” said Mr. Sinha, who was here for a function.

The targeting of Mr. Lalu Prasad and the ‘jungle raj’ remarks didn’t go well with the people of Bihar, he claimed

‘Jungle raj’ comment hurt

“This particular comment [‘Jungle Raj’] hurt the sentiments of the anti-BJP people of Bihar,” he said, while pointing out that Mr. Prasad staged a comeback with flying colours, with “80 per cent success rate [winning 80 seats out of the 100 contested.”

In the recently held elections to the 243-seat Bihar Assembly, the grand alliance won 178 seats, including RJD -- 80, Janata Dal (United) 71 and Congress 27.

Mr. Sinha said the vote-share of Yadavs, Muslims, Kurmis and traditional Congress supporters comprised about 40 per cent.

‘Undercurrents against BJP’

The campaign leaders of the BJP could not understand the undercurrents prevailing against the party, he said.

On the huge financial package announced by the Prime Minister ahead of the Assembly polls, Mr. Sinha said by that time, everyone [voters] knew it was all going to be a “poll gimmick.”

“Probably it was ill-timed,” he said.

‘Courtesy call on Nitish’

Defending his meeting with Mr. Nitish Kumar after the poll results were declared, which also raised many eyebrows in the BJP, Mr. Sinha said it was a courtesy call and added that not much should be read into it.

To a question whether he would attend the swearing-in ceremony of Mr. Kumar on November 20, the BJP leader said it all depended on the kind of invite and his availability on that day.

On the possibility of Mr. Prasad’s daughter Misa or either of his sons assuming the post of Deputy Chief Minister in the new Nitish Kumar government, Mr. Sinha said, “I don’t think it will happen.”


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Printable version | Jun 11, 2021 11:01:07 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/bihar-polls-shatrughan-targets-modi/article7880492.ece

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