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'Dear Friend Nitish Kumar': Shatrughan Sinha Tweets SOS For Flood Victims

Shatrughan Sinha professes to be a fan of Nitish Kumar and rates his governance highly.

New Delhi:  The BJP’s Shatrughan Sinha has tweeted a message to “dear friend and guardian of Bihar” Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, suggesting that the state’s parliamentarians contribute 25 lakhs from their MP funds for flood relief. He has suggested that Mr Kumar coordinate an effort by the parliamentarians and also legislators and officials in the state to contribute money to the Chief Minister’s flood relief fund.

“Hope, wish and pray that that our MPs, MLAs & other officials contribute generously to our various CM flood relief funds asap. Humble suggestion of 25 lacs from MPLAD funds with appropriate approvals from authorities. I have done it before for Kashmir & Uttarakhand,” the BJP lawmaker tweeted, adding, “Dear friend & guardian of Bihar, Nitish Kumar – please take this suggestion @sos. I sincerely applaud the efforts and support of our dynamic PM Modi towards the aggrieved & sufferers.”

Mr Sinha, 71, professes to be a fan of Nitish Kumar and rates his governance highly. The open admiration, coupled with his periodic takedown of his own party, the BJP, placed him in frequent confrontation with the party leadership while Nitish Kumar was a political rival and a partner of Lalu Yadav and the Congress.

That changed last month when Mr Kumar dissolved what was called their Grand Alliance and allied again with the BJP to run Bihar. It put Shatrughan Sinha in an awkward spot; the actor turned politician known best for his pithy one-liners now delivered mostly on Twitter, had braved his party’s displeasure to congratulate Nitish Kumar and Lalu Yadav for their victory over the BJP in assembly elections two years ago.

“Congratulations to Laluji & Nitishji for this victory in Bihar elections. We bow before people’s mandate. It is the victory of democracy and the people of Bihar. I salute them. It appears that the issue of Bihari vs Bahari (and Bihari Babu’s absence) has been settled once and for all,” the BJP lawmaker from Patna Sahib had tweeted.

Hours after the new Nitish Kumar-BJP alliance was cemented, Shotgun Sinha tweeted, “The new development in Bihar is for the people, of the people and by the people. My prime concern is happiness, peace and development in Bihar. Hope wish and pray it takes us towards prosperity and progress.”

The BJP’s Sushil Kumar Modi, who is now Deputy Chief Minister, had engaged in a bitter war of words on Twitter with Mr Sinha earlier this year, after the latter tweeted in favour of Lalu Yadav, saying “enough of negative politics and mudslinging”. It was a reference to Sushil Modi’s allegations of corruption against Mr Yadav, now being investigated.

To Mr Modi’s stinging remark seeking the removal of “gaddars” (traitors) and “enemies of the party” from the BJP, Mr Sinha had snapped, “I’ve been hearing this threat of being expelled from the party for many years. Please stop threatening. Why don’t you just expel me?”

Shatrughan Sinha has been in a state of continuous rebellion leading to the frequent confrontations ever since he was sidelined by the party for backing veteran LK Advani, who had urged the BJP against picking then Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi as its presumptive Prime Minister for the 2014 national election. Their request was rejected.  

Mr Modi led his party to a big victory, but Mr Sinha has struggled to reconcile with the turn of events.