Congress leader Shatrughan Sinha likely to join Trinamool, say sources

By PTI
PATNA/KOLKATA: Senior Congress leader Shatrughan Sinha is likely to crossover to Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress soon, sources close to him said on Sunday.

Though through a tweet in Hindi with pro-Narendra Modi flavour recently, Sinha had triggered guesswork that he might stage a “Ghar Wapsi” to the BJP, the sources said he is more inclined towards the TMC, which recently humbled the saffron party and Banerjee emerged as a potent rival of Prime Minister Modi in 2024 general election.

When asked by PTI about his chance of joining the TMC, Sinha refused to make a direct comment, but said, “Politics is an art of possibility.”

Sources close to him, however, did not deny the chance.

A section of the TMC leaders also said in Kolkata that talks are in an advanced stage in this regard.

The TMC leaders said the actor-politician always had a good relation with Banerjee.

Sources said there is a chance of Sinha switching over to the TMC on its July 21 Martyrs’ day celebration function.

Sinha, popularly known as “Bihari Babu”, made lavish praise on Mamata Banerjee, calling her “real Royal Bengal tiger” and a “tried and tested leader who trounced propaganda and ‘dhanshakti’ (money power) in the just-concluded Bengal polls”.

Sinha’s former colleague in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee ministry, Yashwant Sinha, is now national vice-president of the TMC.

Sinha, the two-term BJP MP from Patna Sahib, had joined the Congress and entered into the fray from the same constituency in the 2019 polls but lost to former union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad.

Though a big name in politics, Sinha, has not been given any big responsibility by the Congress.

Mamata Banerjee who has emerged as a strong rival to Modi in the 2024 Lok Sabha polls has already made it clear that her party will have a larger role outside West Bengal and in that scheme of things, people like Yashwant Sinha and Shatrughan Sinha could be important for the party.

Two Rajya Sabha seats are presently vacant from the TMC after former union minister Dinesh Trivedi quit and joined the BJP before the Bengal polls and Trinamool Congress MP Manas Bhuniaya contested the just-concluded state polls and is now a minister in Banerjee’s third successive ministry.

Indications are that Shatrughan Sinha might be sent to the Upper House of Parliament from one of the two seats of the TMC.

Sinha, who had walked out of the BJP after launching a tirade against Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah, saying the saffron party has become “one man party and two men army”, had recently posted a tweet saying apart from three variants of COVID, there is a fourth variant of people being “dukhi” (unhappy) with Modi without any reason.

This was seen in the political circles as his efforts to reach out to his parent party to make a homecoming.

But, Sinha had himself described the issue as “Sunday humour” for entertainment.

A popular Bollywood hero of yesteryears, Sinha had joined the BJP in the early ’80s when it was a party of two MPs and served as its star campaigner for a long time during the Atal-Advani era.

He, however, fell out with the present saffron party leadership of Modi-Shah and finally left it and joined the Congress before the last general election.

Sinha had joined Banerjee’s mega anti-BJP conclave at Brigade Parade Ground in Kolkata before the 2019 Parliamentary polls when he was still an MP from the BJP.