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CBI, ED, other agencies allies of BJP-led central govt: Shatrughan Sinha

Former BJP leader and Union minister Shatrughan Sinha is contesting on a TMC ticket for the by-election to Asansol Lok Sabha constituency

Shatrughan Sinha   (Photo Credit: Official website of the BJP MP)

File Photo: Shatrughan Sinha

Press Trust of India Kolkata
Former BJP leader and Union minister Shatrughan Sinha, who is contesting on a TMC ticket for the by-election to Asansol Lok Sabha constituency, feels agencies such as CBI and ED are the biggest allies of the BJP-led central government, which is authoritarian in nature.
The actor-turned-politician, who had left the saffron camp to join the Congress after an association with the BJP spanning decades, said he has nothing "personal against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, but political differences are unlikely to be resolved in the near future.
Popularly called Shotgun' by fans for his straightforward dialogue deliveries and speeches, Sinha refrained from replying directly on the reasons behind leaving the Congress, contending: "Sometimes in order to move to the right direction, you have to take a new direction.
Sinha also dismissed the "outsider" tag being attached to him by rivals, asserting that he was "no less a Bengali than any other Bengali".
"Without realising what political opportunism is, they (the BJP) are levelling such allegations. I find it is no longer the party built by the late Atal Bihari Vajpayee and has turned into an authoritarian outfit. It makes use of the CBI, ED and the Income Tax Department on its political opponents to settle scores.
"The BJP no longer has allies as most of them have left the NDA. So, these central agencies are its biggest allies, more loyal than the King," Sinha told PTI in an interview.
Thanking Chief Minister and TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee for giving him an opportunity to serve the masses, he said, "I have nothing personal against PM Modi. The differences are purely political... Had we been able to resolve political differences, I would not be here (with TMC) today. I can now say 'thus far and no further," he said.
Sounding critical of the Congress, with which he had a three-year stint, Sinha said a lot of promises made at the time of his induction were not fulfilled.
After quitting the BJP, Sinha, who had served as a minister in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government, joined the Congress and unsuccessfully fought from his native Patna Sahib Lok Sabha constituency in 2019.
"The Congress is going through a crisis phase, and I think it is not the appropriate time to put salt into their wounds. I don't want to create further confusion and contradiction. Sometimes, to move in the right direction, you have to take a new direction," he said.
Asked about the outsider-insider' narrative of the TMC in the 2021 assembly polls, Sinha said the description was used as the BJP behaved like the "East India Company", which just wanted to conquer Bengal.
"The BJP and its leaders acted as if they had come to invade Bengal just like the British East India Company did once upon a time. That is why they were branded as invaders and outsiders," he said.
The 76-year-old former Union minister also called upon the opposition to join hands to form a front and defeat the BJP.
I think Mamata Banerjee is best suited to lead such a front," he said.
Sinha is pitted against BJP's Agnimitra Paul in the Asansol Lok Sabha constituency scheduled to go to polls on April 12. Votes will be counted on April 16.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Mar 22 2022 | 4:15 PM IST

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