Actor-turned-politician Shatrughan Sinha today (Saturday, April 6) officially joined the Congress, on the Sansthapna Diwas or Foundation Day of his erstwhile party, the BJP.
He was admitted to the party in presence of senior party leaders KC Venugopal and spokesperson Randeep Surjewala.
Sinha, who has been outspoken in his criticism of Narendra Modi government’s policies and the BJP under Prime Minister Narendra Modi and party president Amit Shah, said under the new leadership, the party has ended “internal democracy”. He said, “I saw democracy changing into dictatorship in the BJP.”
“In the one-man show, two-man army, everything happens from Prime Minister’s Office… the ministers can’t work freely anyway,” he said, adding, “We have seen how democracy turned into autocracy.”
Asked about his past comment lauding Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Sinha said, “I used to call him dashing and dynamic…for his 56-inch chest…Today, Rahul Gandhi is the face of the nation and future of the nation.”
Castigating BJP for the snub to veteran leader LK Advani, Sinha said, “Advani ji was sent to Mardarshak Mandal which hasn’t held even a single meeting so far. They did the same to Jaswant Singh, Yashwant Sinha… I was even told that I have been a critic and that I will not be given a cabinet post… but my image has been clean.”
He called demonetisation “probably the world’s biggest scam”. Sinha said, “It was a mindless decision… Several people died… Modi ji’s mother was in the queue and we were told it was normal.”
Shatrughan Sinha, 72, is likely to contest as the opposition alliance candidate from Bihar’s Patna Sahib, his constituency of 10 years. The BJP had earlier named Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad as its candidate for this constituency.
Sinha said that Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Yadav has been “instrumental in my decision” to join the Congress.
“The Congress played the biggest role in bringing India’s Independence. It was wholly and solely responsible for freeing India from the colonial rule,” he said at a press conference at the Congress headquarters.
Sinha had met Congress president Rahul Gandhi on March 29 in New Delhi. There were reports that Sinha’s big bang admission into the Congress was delayed by the party’s tussle with the RJD over him.
Sinha has often referred to RJD president Lalu Prasad as his family friend even after the latter’s conviction in a case of corruption.
Announcing that he would join the Congress, Sinha had said that he was doing so with the “consent” of Prasad.
Sinha has been openly critical of PM Modi and Amit Shah and over the past year, his tweet-a-day barbs have been increasingly provocative for the party. In January, he even joined opposition leaders in a mega rally in Kolkata hosted by Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
“I am sad that I had to quit the BJP on its foundation day,” he said slamming the ruling party for imposing 75 year-bar on contesting polls. “Do people become brain dead,” he asked.
“I congratulate the BJP on its 39th foundation day. I received my political training in the BJP. But it was Congress leader Subodh Kant Sahay took me to public life for the first time,” Sinha said.
Ramesh Bidhuri remarks row: BSP MP Danish Ali writes to PM Modi, calls for suitable punishment
Danish Ali asked PM Modi to make a public statement from his office condemning Bidhuri’s behaviour and reaffirming commitment towards maintaining the highest standards of parliamentary proceedings.
BSP MP Danish Ali who was targeted with derogatory remarks by BJP MP Ramesh Bidhuri in Lok Sabha, wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday seeking suitable punishment for Bidhuri. In the letter, the BSP MP also demanded enhanced security for himself.
He mentioned that the recent incident in the Lok Sabha during the special session of the Parliament was not just an attack on him as an individual but an attack on the very essence of democracy. Expressing grave concern over the incident, Danish Ali called on the Prime Minister as the Leader of the House and asked him to take note of the incident.
The BSP leader underlined that the situation has significantly worsened in the Parliament since September 21 and that it has cast a shadow over the parliamentary decorum and democratic functioning of the esteemed House of which he is privileged to be a member.
Acknowledging that PM Narendra Modi was not present during the incident, BSP MP claimed that Bidhuri used inappropriate language while referring to the Prime Minister during his address. He mentioned that he raised an objection to the use of such language in relation to the Prime Minister even if it was in a quotation.
Danish Ali further added that it was evident from the House proceedings that none of the members of the ruling party objected to his stance against the use of unparliamentary language directed to the Prime Minister. He elaborated that when he pointed out to Bidhuri’s use of unparliamentary language towards the Prime Minister, the BJP MP got rattled and reacted strongly, possibly realising his mistake.
In the letter, Ali also mentioned some of the objectionable and derogatory words that Bidhuri has used against him. In addition, Ali also said that members like BJP MP Nishikant Dubey have gone as far as to disseminate absolute falsehoods against him by claiming that he made certain remarks which provoked Bidhuri when it is clear that those remarks were made by the BJP lawmaker himself during his address.
BSP MP Danish Ali also made a series of demands to PM Modi through his letter. He asked the Prime Minister to make a public statement from his office condemning such behaviour and reaffirming the commitment towards maintaining the highest standards of parliamentary proceedings. Furthermore, he also demanded accountability to be fixed at the earliest on the reprehensible conduct of Bidhuri and called for suitable punishment.
Amid AAP-Congress row in Punjab, Arvind Kejriwal says his party is committed to INDIA bloc
Congress Punjab unit accused the AAP government in the state of indulging in political vendetta
Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) national convener Arvind Kejriwal on Friday affirmed that his party is committed to supporting the INDIA Opposition bloc. He stated that his party will not part ways with the INDIA alliance. Kejriwal’s statement follows amidst a standoff between Aam Aadmi party and Congress in Punjab.
The rift between both the political parties erupted after the arrest of Punjab Congress MLA Sukhpal Singh Khaira on Thursday. The Punjab Congress leader was arrested from his Sector 5 house in Chandigarh in connection with a 2015 drugs case.
Apparently referring to the fall out, Arvind Kejriwal mentioned that the AAP is committed to the INDIA alliance and that they will not break away from the alliance. He added that they are committed to fulfilling the dharma of the alliance.
Meanwhile, Congress Punjab unit accused the AAP government in the state of indulging in political vendetta after the arrest of their leader. However, the AAP in Punjab has denied the allegation, mentioning that the action against the Bholath legislator was taken according to the law.
On being asked about no announcement on the seat sharing formula in the INDIA alliance, Arvind Kejriwal remarked that he hopes that it would be ready soon. Speaking about the opposition INDIA alliance not projecting a prime ministerial candidate yet, Arvind Kejriwal said that his aim is to empower every citizen and create a system where all 1.4 billion people of this country feel like they are the prime minister. He added that they need to empower the people and they don’t need to empower any one individual.
On being questioned about the drug menace, Arvind Kejriwal noted that yesterday he heard that the Punjab Police arrested a particular leader, Sukhpal Singh Khaira in connection with drugs but he doesn’t have the details regarding the matter. Nonetheless, he mentioned that the Bhagwant Mann government and the AAP government are committed to ending the drug menace and that nobody will be spared.
AIADMK leader KP Munusamy says party will form new alliance after ending ties with BJP
KP Munusamy, a senior leader of All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) said, the party will form a separate alliance for the upcoming elections.
KP Munusamy, a senior leader of All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) said, the party will form a separate alliance for the upcoming elections. The Palaniswami’s party ended its tie with the BJP and withdrew its coalition with the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) three days earlier.
According to reports, KP Munusamy further said that the party has not asked to remove K Annamalai, the BJP state president.
Speaking on the removal of the BJP party’s state president, Munusamy said that it is childish to even ask if such a large party like AIADMK would demand anything like that. The party will never commit a mistake like that, he added.
He further clarified that his party’s leaders are not someone who would tell another party how it should function.
Speaking on the relationship with NDA and joining the alliance in future, Munusamy said Stalin and his son Udhayanidhi are claiming that this is a drama.
Stalin and his son Udhayanidhi are only speaking in such a manner because they have a fear after we broke ties with BJP, the AIADMK leader said.
The AIADMK on September 25, announced that it is breaking the alliance with the BJP, ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. The AIADMK unanimously passed a party resolution in this regard.
Announcing the decision, AIADMK deputy coordinator K P Munusamy said the BJP state leadership has been continuously making unnecessary remarks about their former leaders, their general secretary Edapaddi Palaniswami and their cadres for the past one year.
The decision to part ways follows months of speculation over the strained relationship between the AIADMK and the BJP. Notably, Tamil Nadu BJP chief K Annamalai had repeatedly commented against AIADMK leaders and that did not earn him any wrath as the BJP was seemingly fine with Annamalai’s assault on the AIADMK leadership.
Even though the AIADMK’s relationship with Annamalai had not been smooth for more than a year, the latter’s observations on DMK founder CN Annadurai, the AIADMK is a breakaway from the DMK and founded by MG Ramachandran after Annadurai’s death, for the last couple of weeks, had provoked the latest round of spat between the two parties.