New Delhi, Nov 9 (IANS) BJP MP Shatrughan Sinha has said there could have been some difference in his party’s showing in the Bihar assembly polls had he been projected as its chief ministerial candidate.
“I am not bragging, but I do feel that when the ‘laadla’ (darling) of Bihari people, the ‘dhartiputra’ (son of the soil) and the original Bihari Babu was deliberately sidelined, it definitely had an impact on my supporters and fans,” Sinha told India TV.
“I can’t say how much difference it could have been, but I can definitely say … we could have definitely got more seats that what we got,” he said.
The Bharatiya Janata Party won 53 seats in the 243-member assembly while its three allies together bagged another five seats. The Grand Alliance — the JD-U, the RJD and the Congress — won 178 seats.
However, Sinha didn’t say if it was Sushil Modi, the BJP’s former deputy chief minister, who sidelined him during the election campaign.
“We all belong to one family, and we should rather learn our lessons from defeat by introspecting and fixing accountability,” he said.
“Like R.K. Singh, the former home secretary and a mature person, said, there must be introspection, and accountability must be fixed so that we can take this defeat as a challenge and convert it into an opportunity.”
Hitting out at the BJP leadership for inducting leaders from outside to micromanage the campaign in Bihar, Sinha said: “A large number of leaders were collected from outside, some from Punjab, some from Maharashtra and Delhi, who were completely out of touch with grassroots and ground reality, who did not understand the caste equations here, nor had control over the local dialects.
“Such people were stationed here for months together, so much money, talent and energy were spent, and what was the result? We did not learn from the earlier defeat in Delhi. It showed desperation. We lost badly, and that makes me sad.”
The veteran Bollywood actor added: “I have said it earlier and I repeat it now, the BJP shall be my first and probably last party. I joined this party when it had two MPs and today it commands a majority.
“I had been a participant in its joys and sorrows and had always walked in tandem. If the party thinks my utility is there, then I am with my party… to strengthen the hands of our prime minister, our dashing and dynamic Narendra Modi.”
Sinha went on: “There is no final clock, no final day in the calendar of politics. (Our) defeats in Delhi and Bihar should make us learn lessons, to strap up our boots.”
Sinha wondered why Modi addressed so many election rallies in Bihar.
“Could we not lessen the prime minister’s burden? Could we not have been brought to the front?”