- Bihar's Patna Sahib is the Lok Sabha constituency of Shatrughan Sinha
- Shatrughan Sinha has been criticising BJP over a host of issues
- NDA announced its 39 candidates for the polls in Bihar
Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad will be the BJP's Lok Sabha candidate from Bihar's Patna Sahib, the party announced today, setting the stage for the most high profile clash in the April-May general election, as sitting lawmaker Shatrughan Sinha is likely to contest on a Congress ticket.
Mr Sinha, whose criticism of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has grown progressively sharper, didn't figure on the BJP's list of candidates, announced today.
Shatrughan Sinha, who won elections in 2014 on BJP ticket, had a fallout with the party leadership after he was left out of the cabinet. He has since publicly criticized the party leadership and the Prime Minister. Despite his very public attacks, the BJP stopped short of sacking him or taking any disciplinary action.
Mr Sinha, however, pushed it too far when he attended West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's mega opposition rally in January. "Even if I'm part of the BJP, I speak for the people and the country first. During Atal Bihari Vajpayee's time, the focus was "lokshahi" or democracy but now in PM Modi's time it is "tanashahi" or dictatorship," he said at that rally.
As reports of his imminent replacement emerged, Shatrughan Sinha, 72, declared that he would contest from Patna Sahib, come what may, even if it meant joining another party.
The leader had triggered speculation earlier when he met Lalu Yadav's son Tejashwi Yadav, who has taken charge of the Rashtriya Janata Dal as his father serves a jail term for corruption.
Ravi Shankar Prasad is a Rajya Sabha member from Bihar.
The National Democratic Alliance today announced its 39 candidates for the polls in Bihar. LJP's Chirag Paswan will contest from Jamui, BJP's Ravij Pratap Rudi from Saran, Giriraj Singh from Begusarai, Ashwini Kumar Chobey from Buxar, and Union Minister Radha Mohan Singh will contest from East Champaran.