Trinamool Congress MP Shatrughan Sinha on Monday lauded Congress chief Rahul Gandhi’s ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ and stated he has now emerged as the “frontrunner for the PM publish” in the opposition camp.
While speaking to PTI, the actor-turned-politician said Gandhi’s 3,570-km-long march is one of the most historic yatra that the country has witnessed in the recent past and can be compared with Lal Krishna Advani’s ‘Ram Rath Yatra’ in the early 1990s.
However, the former union minister dodged a question about his return to the Congress by saying that his “answer is Khamosh”.
“Rahul Gandhi has come out as a frontrunner after this yatra, and is respectable chief now. He appears fairly succesful for the PM publish.
“He has now grow to be a frontrunner (for the PM publish) in the opposition camp. Lakhs of persons are popping out in his assist. He has proved his management high quality. People have accepted him as a frontrunner,” Sinha informed PTI in a telephonic interview.
This is for the second time in the last three months that Sinha has come out with praising words for Rahul Gandhi and his ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’.
When asked whether the yatra would help the Congress garner votes in the next Lok Sabha polls, Sinha replied in positive.
“The kind of support he is receiving is unprecedented. Even if this euphoria converts into 20 per cent votes, it would be great for the nation and the Congress party in particular,” Sinha stated.
The TMC MP referred to political yatras in the previous performed by L Ok Advani, and Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy in Andhra Pradesh in the latest previous.
“We have witnessed how lengthy marches have helped translate into votes in the previous. We have seen the yatra of L Ok Advani and Jagan Mohan Reddy in Andhra Pradesh. In West Bengal elections, when Mamata Banerjee acquired injured and later campaigned on a wheelchair, you might have seen the outcomes in the 2021 meeting polls,” he said.
Sinha had joined the BJP in the early 80s, and served the saffron camp as its star campaigner during the Atal Bihari Vajpayee-L K Advani era.
The two-term BJP MP from Patna Sahib later walked out of the party over differences with the present leadership and joined the Congress ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
The Bollywood actor of the 1970s and 1980s switched over to the TMC in 2022.
He successfully fought the by-election from Asansol, an industrial town in West Bengal.
Asked about NCP leader Sharad Pawar’s recent comment that yatra will help in building consensus among opposition parties, Sinha said he agrees with the view of the veteran politician from Maharashtra.
“I will go by what real Chanakya of India politics- Sharad Pawar- has said. It (yatra) can unite the opposition. Everybody wishes, hopes, and prays,” Sinha stated, including that West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will likely be a “game-changer” in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.
Speaking about who would take up the leadership mantle in the opposition camp, Sinha said one “who will have the highest number of seats will emerge as the leader”.
“People will resolve who would grow to be the PM. Anyone with the best variety of seats and assist base would be the chief of the opposition camp,” he said.
While advocating opposition unity, Sinha said it is the high time for the opposition to get united.
“With due respect to all, I must say the opposition must unite in general and as a nation in particular…When anti-incumbency is rising, and you fail to fulfil your promises, people vote against the ruling party. When we have Rahul Gandhi as a frontrunner and Mamata Banerjee as a game changer, then nothing seems to be impossible,” he stated.
Speaking about variations between the Congress and the TMC, Sinha stated he’s a “optimistic individual” and hopes that the relation between the 2 events would enhance in future.
When asked whether he plans to return to the Congress before the 2024 Lok Sabha polls, Sinha said, “my answer is Khamosh”.
The Asansol MP clarified that he firmly stands as a lieutenant of Mamata Banerjee and has “full religion and respect for her management”, who is a tried and tested leader of the country.
Sinha, however, had a piece of advice for his party colleagues who have been critical of ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’, and said, “no opposition party should be critical of any other opposition outfit in its effort to put up a fight against the BJP,” he added.
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(This story has not been edited by News18 employees and is printed from a syndicated information company feed)