Why Is BJP Tolerating ‘Rebel’ Shatrughan Sinha?

How has Shatrughan Sinha survived in the BJP this long despite his attacks on PM Modi? There are 3 main reasons.

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Shatrughan Sinha's displeasure with the BJP and Narendra Modi is nothing new. But in the recently held Opposition mega rally led by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Sinha's attack was much sharper. Sinha even went to the extent of referring to Prime Minister Narendra Modi as a ‘chor’ (thief). Despite this, the BJP didn’t take any measures against him. Why?

Why Is BJP Tolerating ‘Shotgun’ Sinha?

Why is the BJP tolerating Sinha who is attacking PM Modi with statements such as, “If speaking the truth is rebellion, then think of me as a rebel?”

How is it that despite launching his rebellion against a politician like Narendra Modi, Sinha is still in the BJP, and that too with full confidence?

“This is unfair for the people of this country. What does it mean that suddenly, overnight, you announced the Tughlaqi Farmaan’ (decree) of note ban?”
Shatrughan Sinha, BJP MP

Do focus on his choice of words, 'Tughlaqi Farmaan', which means Shatrughan Sinha is alleging that without consulting and taking his party members and the government officials in confidence, PM Modi is unilaterally making big decisions.

Attacking Modi, Praising Rahul

Sinha has criticised Modi previously too, but at the Opposition's rally, he went further and praised Congress President Rahul Gandhi quite openly:

“The nation had hardly recovered from demonetisation when GST was implemented. Our new Congress president, Rahul Gandhi, who proved to be very successful by winning three states within a year of his appointment aptly called it ‘Gabbar Singh Tax.’”

Watch your words, Bihari babu!  What is this? 'Our new Congress president'? You have always been a critic of PM Narendra Modi and have used words like 'chaiwala' but this time it looks like you boarded the Rafale and aimed straight at PM Modi, just like Rahul Gandhi!

Other ‘Rebels’ Suffered a Different Fate

Snapshot

Arun Shourie, who was a minister in the Vajpayee government, was dismissed by the BJP in October 2015 for waging a war against PM Modi.

Yashwant Sinha, who held portfolios such as Foreign Affairs and Finance during the Vajpayee government, was also suspended from the party in April 2018.

MP and former cricketer Kirti Azad was suspended in December 2015 for speaking against Arun Jaitley.

3 Reasons Sinha Has Escaped Retribution

However, Shatrughan Sinha, despite continuously speaking against PM Modi for the last five years, is still in the party. Why?

According to BJP sources, there are three main reasons:

Snapshot

1. Even if BJP terminates Sinha’s association with the party, he will remain an MP. And in that case, he will be a free bird.

2. Right now, he speaks against government policies outside Parliament. If suspended, he’ll attack them inside the House.

3. If suspended, he would be respected as a martyr and become a hurdle for the BJP candidate who contests from the Patna Sahib constituency in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

One Attack Too Many?

But now, rumour has it that Sinha won't last long in the party. After the way Sinha repeatedly said 'chowkidar chor hai, chowkidar chor hai' in Mamata's mega rally, sources say that he will be soon expelled from the party. Only time will tell how the BJP deals with ‘Shotgun’ Sinha.

“I am not saying that someone is guilty nor am I suggesting that you are not guilty but if you try to hide and cover things up then the people of this country will believe that ‘the watchman really is a thief.’ For as long as you keep refusing to answer, keep using rhetoric, keep hiding facts, covering things up, you will keep hearing from people that ‘chowkidar chor hai, chowkidar chor hai.’”
Shatrughan Sinha at Opposition’s ‘United India Rally’ in Kolkata.

(This article was originally published on Quint Hindi.)

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