Shatrughan Sinha joins opposition leaders at Kolkata rally, says not afraid if BJP removes him
Sinha has been at odds with his party over several issues and has criticised the demonetisation exercise and the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax.
Sharing the stage with opposition leaders in Kolkata, disgruntled BJP leader Shatrughan Sinha Saturday called for changing the government in the 2019 Lok Sabha election and said he was not afraid of being removed from the ruling party.
He insisted he would continue to "show mirror" to the party and call "a spade a spade".
Sinha has been at odds with his party over several issues and has criticised the demonetisation exercise and the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax. He has said he was attending the rally hosted by TMC chief Mamata Banerjee in Kolkata as a representative of the Rashtra Manch, a political action group launched by former BJP leader Yashwant Sinha.
"My elder brother Yashwant Sinha was saying that after this I will be definitely removed from the party, I told him 'koi baat nahi hai' (no problem)," he said at the rally attended by several opposition leaders, including from the AAP and the RJD.
Known for his powerful dialogues in Hindi movies, Sinha said, "He is in Bharatiya Janata Party but before that he is with Bharat ki janata."
Two days ago, Sinha had said he did not receive "respect" in the BJP and will attend the Kolkata rally, which was being projected as a show of strength by anti-BJP political parties.
Shatrughan Sinha, BJP at Opposition rally in Kolkata: Agar sach kehna baghawat hai toh samjho hum bhi baghi hain. Main sach ke saath, sidhanton se samjhouta nahi kar sakta. pic.twitter.com/hJE1Z2Mv4P— ANI (@ANI) January 19, 2019
Sinha was called to make his speech after several senior leaders such as former prime minister H D Deve Gowda, NCP chief Sharad Pawar, and chief ministers H D Kumaraswamy, N Chandrababu Naidu and Arvind Kejriwal had made their speech.
He spoke at length and attacked the Modi government on the controversial Rafale fighter jet deal, demonetisation and implementation of GST.
"If you keep suppressing facts, people will continue to say 'chaukidar chor hain'," he said, using the word Congress president Rahul Gandhi has been employing to criticise the prime minister on the Rafale jet deal issue.
Sinha praised Banerjee, Gandhi, Samajwadi Party's Akhilesh Yadav and RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav.
Sinha, who served as a Union minister in the NDA cabinet of Atal Bihari Vajpayee, said there was "lokshahi" during Vajpayee's tenure and now it's "tanashahi" (dictatorship).
He urged all leaders present at the dais to walk together to usher a change in the country and facilitate a new leadership to take over.