Shatrughan Sinha: Was unhappy in BJP for long but no one spoke to me, Congress is political future of India 

Joining Congress was a decision taken after much deliberation and though, says the firebrand actor turned politician Shatrughan Sinha

PTI photo
PTI photo
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Subhash K Jha

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

Ans: (laughs  heartily) Raaz ki baat jo sab jaante the. Open Secret, yes, I’ve  joined hands with Soniaji, Rahul and Priyanka. I am now part of Congress.

Q. Why?

Ans. Why? Why did I choose to join Congress? 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 ...

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

Ans. 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 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.

Q. So what prompted you to make the move from BJP to Congress? Ans. 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.

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

Ans. (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.

Q. 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.

Q. 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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