Actor-turned-politician and Congress candidate from Patna Sahib, Shatrughan Sinha has praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi saying "his energy level is fantastic".
Replying to questions in Rajat Sharma's show 'Aap Ki Adalat', the veteran Bollywood actor said: "Yes, I had said in 2016 that Modi had a dashing personality, and last year I described Rahul Gandhi as charismatic. That is my way of expressing my admiration.
"Do you know what is the best thing I find in Modi as PM? His energy level is fantastic. We should try to understand the secrets of his fine health. The way he is constantly travelling across the country. He walks up fast up the ladder when boarding the aircraft. It is laudable ('sarahniya') and should be an inspiration (anukaraniya) for the young generation."
In the same show, Shatrughan Sinha lashed out at the Modi government saying "it is a one-man show, two-man army". The former BJP MP said, there is now "autocracy" (tanashahi) in the party in place of "democracy" (lokshahi) during the Vajpayee-Advani years.
Asked about his prediction about the current Lok Sabha election result, Shatrughan Sinha replied: " "I am not an astrologer. Time will tell, but I can say this match, after going around the country, that the sword of power (satta ki talwaar) will once again come in the hands of the Opposition."
On why he fielded his wife Poonam Sinha as the Samajwadi Party candidate in Lucknow to take on Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, the actor-turned-politician replied: "It was done with the consent of our party's national president Rahul Gandhi and other senior leaders. In the national interest. This was a special case. "
Sinha disclosed that Mahagathbandhan leaders had initially requested him to contest from Lucknow. "But I had promised my electorate (in Patna Sahib) not to leave them. I had told my supporters here, whatever may be the situation, the location will not change, it shall be Patna Sahib. I stood by my promise."
The veteran Bollywood actor revealed that it was he who coined the acronyms 'NaMo' for Narendra Modi. "I coined the acronym NaMo, and also SuMo (for Sushil Modi). Yes I also coined the term 'Pappu' (for Rahul Gandhi) and also 'Phenku' (for Modi)."
Asked whether he revolted because he was not offered the post of minister in the Modi cabinet, Sinha replied: "What is there in the post of minister (mantri pad hai kya)? Ask people sitting here, do they remember the names of five cabinet ministers? Do they know these ministers? The entire work is being done by PMO. It's a one-man show, two-man army there...Like Lata Mangeshkar who said, my voice is my identity, I can say, my personality is my identity."
Sinha said: "I had already written in my book 'Anything but Khamosh' that had Madam (Indira) Gandhi been alive today, I would have been in the Congress, whether you may joke or not, it is the oldest and most lively (jaandaar) party in India. More than 125 years old. This is the party that won us freedom, gave us progress."
The Congress leader said: "My daughter Sonakshi, who is apolitical, had been telling me, I should have left BJP long ago. Where one does not get any respect, there is no point staying in that party...It is good that I left BJP in time. When people ask me why Advani ji and Joshi ji did not leave BJP, I say, 'jaayen toh jaayen kahan' in this old age?"
Sinha alleged that his security was withdrawn, and he was removed from ICCR (Indian Council of Cultural Relations) and Parliamentary Committee for I&B, after he spoke against the BJP leadership. "I have no complaints. I want to forget it all."