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BJP dumps Shatrughan Sinha for Bihar elections
Ignoring actor-turned-politician Shatrughan Sinha's offer to lead the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the upcoming assembly elections in Bihar, the party has chosen its vice president Sushil Modi instead.
Modi, a vocal critic of Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) supremo and Railway Minister Lalu Prasad, has been made incharge of the BJP campaign for the assembly polls due in February next year. The BJP's choosing Modi is due to its reported preference for a hardliner than a liberal face like Shatrughan Sinha.
Early this week Sinha had publicly announced his willingness to lead the BJP in the forthcoming elections to defeat Lalu. He had said that he was ready to play the role of "senapati" (commander) in the assembly polls if the party leadership wished so.
This was not the first time Shatrughan Sinha, the party's star campaigner in Bihar, suggested to the party to give him command to take on Lalu. His earlier feelers were never seriously taken by the BJP.
The BJP's move to handover the party command to Modi is a clear rejection of Sinha, who ironically attracts more crowds than any leader in the state.
Known as "Bihari Babu" or "Shatrughan Bhaiya", Sinha has his own support base in the BJP.
Modi enjoys the backing of Hindu nationalist parties like the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and Bajrang Dal for his advocacy of hardline Hinduvta.