Senior BJP leader Shatrughan Sinha feels the timing of the party’s failed campaign to hoist the national flag in Srinagar was not appropriate and that the advice given by key ally JD(U) leader Nitish Kumar to desist from that was “valid”.
The former Union Minister also felt that the party should reconsider the issue of continuance of Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa who is facing charges of irregularities.
In an interaction with journalists,Sinha said the BJP has been able corner the government on major issues of corruption like those related to 2G spectrum allocation,CWG and Adarsh Housing Society and nothing should be done to dilute that. “When you have a potent issue like JPC into the 2G spectrum scam in hand…it was not politically good time (to go for the Tiranga yatra)…it would have been better if it had not happened now,” said the actor-politician while giving his “frank” views.
Asked whether he had given any advice to the party leaders not to undertake the Ekta Yatra,he referred to the “valid” suggestion given by Nitish Kumar in this regard.
He said the party should continue the fight for JPC probe into corruption cases with greater zeal in a focussed manner and contended that the next two months would be crucial to determine which way things go.
Targeting Prime Minister Manmohan Singh,he said his “personal image” was saving him so far but his “ineffectiveness” was getting exposed. “The Prime Minister is politically trapped and there seems to be no escape route,” he said.
Criticising the Prime Minister’s offer to appear before Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee in 2G case,Sinha felt it was a clever tactic by Singh as he was aware the the Committee did not have powers to call even an MP,leave alone the Prime Minister.
Maintaining that the deficiencies in governance could be exposed only by a JPC and not the PAC which only deals with accounts,the BJP MP said Singh cannot choose the forum where to appear.
He said “February-March would be the deciding months” in the Indian politics and “which side we are heading and who will be leading us…anything can happen”,he said.
Asked whether Nitish Kumar could emerge as the ‘most likely choice’ of the opposition for the next Prime Ministerial candidate,Sinha did not rule it out.
As regards Yeddyurappa,who is in the eye of a storm for violating rules to allocate prime plot of land to his sons in Bangalore,Sinha felt it would be better for the party to “nip in the bud” the problem at a time when it was projecting a high moral ground on corruption. “There is no comparison between 2G scam,CWG scam and Adarsh scam with the allegations being levelled against Yeddyurappa. But one should not talk in the language of small thieves and big thieves,” the BJP MP said and agreed that the Chief Minister should step down.
He went on to add that BJP President Nitin Gadkari was dealing with the issue and hoped that some solution would emerge soon.
On his own position within BJP,the actor-politician said “he has to always fight on two fronts — one against opposition and another within the party.”
Asked whether he was feeling slighted that he had not been given any responsible post in the party,the shotgun remarked,”I have no complaint or expectation although I have not been given any post despite Gadkari being a family friend.”
He,however,expressed “disappointment” over senior party colleagues Yashwant Sinha and Arun Shourie not getting their due within the party despite having “tremendous talent.” Sinha,a Lok Sabha member Patna Saheb who has been at odds with BJP leadership on many issues,said the JD(U)-BJP combine had been able to post a remarkable victory in the recent Assembly elections because of development,Nitish Kumar’s leadership,good governance and his style of work.