Will Yashwant, Shatrughan Sinha join Samajwadi Party?

Senior SP leader says may offer them Lok Sabha tickets if they join the party

PTI10_11_2018_000144B BJP MP Shatrughan Sinha [centre] with former BJP leader Yashwant Sinha [left] and Samajwadi Party (SP) President Akhilesh Yadav, at SP office in Lucknow on Thursday | PTI

Will two erstwhile 'giants' of the BJP contest the upcoming Lok Sabha polls on Samajwadi Party tickets? The presence of former finance minister Yashwant Sinha and actor-turned-politician Shatrughan Sinha at a Samajwadi Party function in Lucknow at least leaves some room for speculation.

Both had participated in a programme to mark the birth anniversary of renowned socialist leader Jai Prakash Narayan, organised by the Samajwadi Party at its office in Lucknow on Thursday. The party's national president and former UP chief minister Akhilesh Yadav was also present at the event and had a "good discussion" with Yashwant and Shatrughan.

Sources in the SP said that there was a strong possibility that the two Sinhas might contest on SP tickets in the 2019 general elections. A senior SP leader even said that if Shatrughan Sinha quit the BJP before the upcoming Lok Sabha polls, the SP would offer him a ticket. It is to be noted that Yashwant Sinha quit the BJP in April. Some party leaders are keen to field Shatrughan Sinha from Varanasi, the constituency of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

It is no secret that both leaders have been quite vocal critics of Modi government. At the SP event, both launched scathing attack on the BJP and Modi. Assailing the autocratic behaviour of Modi, Yashwant Sinha said the position of cabinet ministers these days was so bad that they were not even told about the important decisions of the government.

For his part, Shatrughan Sinha said the whole nation wanted to know about the veracity of the Rafale deal. He described the Modi government as a "one-man show and two-men army".