New Delhi: Senior BJP leader and lawmaker Shatrughan Sinha, in an exclusive interview to NDTV, has said "PM Narendra Modi did not mean his remark on Nitish Kumar's DNA, but the comment was avoidable."
The actor-turned-politician defended his meetings with Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, saying "courtesies and friendships are not bound by party" and that he talked development with the two chief ministers. Calling Mr Kumar "a dear friend", Mr Sinha said that Mr Kumar was "one of the best chief ministers".
On being asked if he was upset at not being included in the Modi Cabinet, Mr Sinha said that he was "mature enough to understand that choosing Cabinet is PM's prerogative", but his voters and well-wishers were upset that he wasn't made a minister.
Following are the highlights of Shatrughan Sinha's interview:
- I am not upset with anyone, I am cool and calm. I just try and show the mirror to some people
- I have never crossed my party's Lakshman Rekha. Courtesies and friendships are not bound by any party
- Nitish Kumar is a dear friend and one of the best chief ministers
- I talk development with Arvind Kejriwal and Nitish Kumar
- PM Modi's remark on Nitish Kumar's DNA was avoidable
- PM Modi didn't mean Nitish DNA remark; it was a slip
- PM Modi is an action hero, dynamic and progressive
- I gave NaMo title to Narendra Modi
- Won't challenge PM's wisdom, but my voters were upset that I wasn't made a minister
- It is the PM's prerogative to choose the cabinet
- Some ask was I sidelined for being in camp Advani
- I did not attend the PM's rallies as I wasn't invited
- Bihar election a litmus test for the NDA
- I had proposed BJP names before Ram Vilas Paswan. I have no desire or time to be chief minister. It's better for us to have a face for Bihar polls
- Rumours of my wife joining the Janata Dal (United) are untrue
- I have the option of contesting as an Independent candidate
- Some people in the BJP are scared of my popularity