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Shatrughan Sinha Likely to Take on PM Modi in Varanasi on SP Ticket in 2019 Polls

Shatrughan Sinha, who has been indulging in direct attacks on the prime minister for quite some time, could be a probable candidate due to his support base among the kayastha community in Varanasi.

Qazi Faraz Ahmad | News18@qazifarazahmad

Updated:October 12, 2018, 4:41 PM IST

Lucknow: Dissident BJP leader and actor Shatrughan Sinha is likely to contest Lok Sabha elections against Prime Minister Narendra Modi on a Samajwadi Party ticket.

According to top SP leaders, the actor, popularly known as 'Shotgun', may take on PM Modi from Varanasi in 2019 if he quits the Bharatiya Janata Party.

Sinha, who has been indulging in direct attacks on the prime minister for quite some time, could be a probable candidate due to his support base among the kayastha community in the city and also because Varanasi, which falls in eastern UP, is closer to his home state Bihar.

According to highly placed sources in the party, the discussion to field Patna Sahib BJP MP from Varanasi is in progress and decision could be taken soon.

Meanwhile, the sources also suggest that Samajwadi Party could be in talks with Aam Aadmi Party for their support on the seat as in 2014 Lok Sabha elections, AAP Convenor and Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal was the runner up from Varanasi seat.

Amitabh Bhattacharya, senior political analyst based in Varanasi, feel that people of Varanasi love anyone who speaks straight forward just like them and they might go for a change.

"It will be wrong to say that Shatrughan Sinha does not have any influence in Varanasi. BJP candidate Shri Chandra Dixit was contesting from Varanasi and in front of him was CPM’s Raj Kishore. The wind was blowing in favour of Kishore, but three days before the polling, Shatrughan Sinha along with Lal Krishna Advani addressed a public meeting and changed the equations in favour of BJP candidate," he said.

“Sinha has always been known for speaking straight forward. Provincialism doesn’t work in Varanasi and local candidate does not matter. The city and its people have elected outsiders on several occasions. Varanasi like its own birds as well as also houses Siberian birds, and Shatrughan Sinha won’t be a Siberian bird for Varanasi,” added Bhattacharya.

Meanwhile, Samajwadi Party co-coordinator of Shivpur assembly seat in Varanasi, Anand Mohan said, “The people of Varanasi are fed-up of BJP rule and it’s MP who has not done much for the constituency, people now want change. The decision to field Shatrughan Sinha from Varanasi in 2019 lies solely with the party leadership, however if announced he will register win with a huge margin for sure.”

Sinha along with Yashwant Sinha arrived in Lucknow on Thursday to attend a programme organised by Samajwadi Party to mark the birth anniversary of Jai Prakash Narayan. Both leaders shared the stage with Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav.

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| Edited by: Sumedha Kirti
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