Disgruntled BJP leader Shatrughan Sinha Wednesday attended an Iftaar party hosted by RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav here, triggering speculations about his future political move.
The Iftaar at Yadav’s 5, Circular Road residence coincided with a similar feast for “rozedars” held at the Haj Bhavan, which was organized by the ruling Janata Dal (United) in Bihar and where the actor-turned-politician remained conspicuous by his absence.
“It is an auspicious and happy occasion. Iftaar parties are a part of our composite culture. Lalu Prasad (RJD supremo) is my dear friend. I am delighted to be among my family friends,” Sinha told reporters.
Asked why he skipped the Iftaar hosted by the JD(U), the Patna Sahib MP claimed he did not have knowledge of the Haj House function.
Asked whether his presence at a function hosted by an opposition party leader while skipping the one hosted by an ally of his party could lead to bitterness, he asserted “iftaar only sweetens relationships”.
When pressed further by journalists, he responded with his trademark – Khamosh!
The actor-turned-politician spent close to half an hour at Yadav’s residence, where Lalu Prasad – sentenced for fodder scam cases and currently out on bail for medical treatment – was, however, not present.
Restrained by the Jharkhand High Court – which had granted him provisional bail – from interacting with the media and makig political statments, the former Bihar Chief Minister has avoided making appearances in the public.
Speaking on the occasion, Tejashwi Yadav – who is the RJD heir apparent – regretted his absence at the Iftaar hosted by Congress president Rahul Gandhi in Delhi and said “our programme had been decided long ago so I could not be present there. But our Rajya Sabha member Manoj Jha is representing our party and I hope that the Iftaar at Delhi sends out a strong message in favour of opposition unity”.
Tejashwi’s elder brother Tej Pratap Yadav, MLA, and eldest sister Misa Bharti were also present at the Iftaar, seeking to put to rest recent speculations about sibling rivalry that was triggered by a tweet from Tej Pratap.
“Tej Pratap never said that he had a problem with his brother or sister. It was a creation of the media. Today all the mischief-mongers have got a reply seeing all of us together”, Misa Bharti told reporters.
At the JD(U) iftaar, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, Deputy CM Sushil Kumar Modi, Union minister and Lok Janshakti Party chief Ram Vilas Paswan and state JD(U) chief Bashistha Narayan Singh, JD(U) MLC Ashok Chowdhury – who made the prepartions – and state BJP president Nityanand Rai were among those who attended.
Dissident RJD MLA Maheshwar Yadav also turned up at the JD(U) iftaar and showered praises on the Chief Minister.