Shatrughan Sinha's Chaiwala Dig, Amid Row Over Meme Targeting PM Narendra Modi

BJP leader Shatrughan Sinha said people have asked him what qualification he has to speak on the economy as his career has its roots in the film industry

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Shatrughan Sinha's Chaiwala Dig, Amid Row Over Meme Targeting PM Narendra Modi

Shatrughan Sinha took a swipe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi at a book launch in Delhi. (File)


New Delhi: 

Highlights

  1. BJP lawmaker has criticised his party over a range of issues in the past
  2. Mr Sinha questioned PM Modi's, Amitabh Bachchan's silence on "Padmavati"
  3. "...someone else has a patent for Mann Ki Baat," Mr Sinha said
Days after the Congress's youth wing Yuva Desh tweeted a "chai wala" meme targeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi, which they later deleted, BJP parliamentarian Shatrughan Sinha on Thursday used the same words to allude to the Prime Minister at a book launch in the national capital.

Mr Sinha, who seemed to be taking a swipe at those in his own party who are not in good terms with him, said he too can speak on the economy if other people can do so without being a specialist.

"If vakeel babu can speak on finance, if a TV actress can become the country's HRD minister and if a chai wala can become... I wouldn't say any further... Why can't I speak on economy?" said the BJP leader who has criticised his party over a range of issues in the past. On Wednesday, Mr Sinha in a tweet had questioned PM Modi and Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan's silence amid relentless protests over the release of the movie Padmavati.

When he was a child, PM Modi used to help his father sell tea at a railway station in Vadnagar in east Gujarat. In October, when the Prime Minister visited Vadnagar -- his first since 2014 when he took over the top job in the country -- the dilapidated tea kiosk was spruced up and decked up with flowers.

Mr Sinha said people have asked him what qualification he has to speak on the economy as his career has its roots in the film industry.

He said the overnight pull-out of high-value currency notes last year has left millions of Indians without jobs, factories have shut down, and small traders and hawkers are out of work, news agency IANS reported. The new national tax GST has added to people's woes, he added. 

"If I do not speak for the youth, for the poor... for the oppressed, then what am I doing in politics?" Mr Sinha said.

"I am speaking from my heart though it is not mann ki baat because someone else has a patent for mann ki baat," Mr Sinha said at the book launch. "Some people say I speak against my own government's policies because I was not made a minister. To be honest, I neither have any desire nor any expectation to become a minister," he added.

(With inputs from IANS)
 

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