‘Shotgun’ Sinha Fires Salvos At Modi, Shah

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New Delhi(PTI): In an apparent attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP MP Shatrughan Sinha today said the atmosphere in the country was such that people had to either support “a person” or risk being called “anti-national”.

He also made fun of ministers in the Modi government, calling them a “bunch of sycophants” 90 per cent of whom were hardly known to people.

“The atmosphere nowadays is such that either you support a person or be ready to be called anti-national,” the outspoken Lok Sabha member from Patna Sahib said in an obvious assault on the prime minister.

The actor-politician also targeted the dispensations running the government and the party organisation, calling them a “one-man army” and a “two-man show”, a barb apparently aimed at Modi and Amit Shah.

“It (the government) is a bunch of sycophants. Ninety per cent of ministers are those who you (people) don’t know. They are here not to do something creative or constructive….they are just busy saving their jobs,” he said addressing a book release function here.

Taking a swipe at Modi, Sinha said he would do his ‘dil ki baat’ at the event as “somebody else has patented ‘mann ki baat'”, a reference to the prime minister’s monthly radio programme.

Sinha, though often critical of the government’s policies, was today unusually forthright in attacking it from the dais he shared with several top opposition leaders including CPI-M general secretary Sitaram Yechury and rebel JD(U) MP Sharad Yadav.

He said he joined politics after being inspired by socialist leader Jayaprakash Narayan.

“I did not join politics saying ‘na jeeoonga na jeene doonga’ (neither will I live, nor allow others to live),” in an apparent parody of Modi’s anti-graft slogan ‘na khaoonga, na khane doonga’ (won’t take bribe, will not let others).

Sinha rubbished the claim by his detractors that he was upset over not being made a minister, saying he never had any such expectations.

He once again took a swipe at those criticising him for speaking on economic decisions of the government like demonetisation and the GST.

“If a lawyer can become finance minister, a TV actress can become HRD minister and a tea-seller…, then why cannot I speak on these issues,” he said, apparently targeting Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Information and Broadcasting Minister Smriti Irani, who earlier held the HRD portfolio, and the prime minister.

“Intellectuals are being killed and now even judges are being killed,” he alleged, claiming that these issues were not getting adequate attention in the media as ‘dhantantra’ (money power) was getting the better of ‘jantantra’ (peole’s power).

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