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Shatrughan ready to play senapati in Bihar

October 14, 2004 16:11 IST
Last Updated: October 14, 2004 17:21 IST

Amidst demand from a section of the Bharatiya Janata Party to fight the coming Bihar assembly elections, due early next year, under the leadership of actor-politician Shatrughan Sinha, the party's star campaigner on Thursday said he was ready to take on the might of Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad.

"I am a dedicated worker of the BJP. If the party leadership wants me to assume the role of senapati (commander) in the assembly poll, I will not run away," he told PTI in Patna.

"Bihar is my birth place. Besides, I began my political career here. It pains me like anyone else when I see that the state is being ruined by the president of the RJD and his party.

"The common man is fed up with the corrupt and inefficient Rabri Devi government and wants an end to the jungle raj. All we need to do is to mobilise the people and unite them to overthrow the RJD from power.

"I am prepared to make any sacrifice to end the corrupt and inefficient RJD rule in Bihar," Sinha said.

Several BJP leaders, including former Union minister Syed Shahnawaz Hussain and former Darbhanga MP Kirti Azad, want to cash in on his star appeal and have made a strong case for fighting the coming assembly polls under his leadership.

Asked if he had the confidence to match Prasad's charisma, Sinha said, "If not more, I think I am not less than anybody in terms of popularity, acceptability and respectability."

He denied that he is a 'drawing room politician' or that he could not devote much time to the party owing to his preoccupation with films.

"While campaigning for the recent Lok Sabha election and also in the past, I moved around in remote areas of different states to canvass support for party candidates." the BJP's Rajya Sabha member from Bihar pointed out.

"Besides, I normally visit Bihar 2-3 times a month and if entrusted a greater responsibility, I will camp here permanently," he said.

Sinha hates being seen as the leader of a particular caste and expressed confidence that he could mobilise people from various strata of society, particularly the youth, to launch a 'decisive' battle against Prasad and his party.

On whether BJP should go alone in the assembly poll or fight in alliance with the Janata Dal (United), the senior BJP leader favours a united National Democratic Alliance but not at the cost of the BJP.

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