Actor-turned-politician and BJP MP Shatrughan Sinha on Wednesday said there is anger among people over GST and demonetisation, and it is clear that Gujarat assembly election is not just an election for the saffron party but also a “challenge.”
Sharing stage with Congress leader Manish Tewari at a panel discussion on the latter's book 'Tidings of Troubled Times', Sinha said, "if a lawyer can talk about finances, if a TV actress can be the HRD minister and if a 'chaiwala' can be... then why I cannot talk about economy?"
The leader was referring to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Information and Broadcasting Minister Smriti Irani, who was earlier HRD minister, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. However, he did not cite name of them.
Sinha maintained that he was not challenging his party but "showing mirror to it" in the BJP's and the nation's interest.
"From the writing on the wall and anger among people over GST, demonetisation, unemployment...seeing it, I don't want to say how many seats the BJP will get but certainly this election is going to be a special challenge," he said.
However, the MP from Patna Sahib said the BJP can increase its seats by staying united and should not take the elections lightly.
"I will only say the matter is serious and this is not chunav (election), but chunauti (challenge)," he said.
Without naming anyone, Sinha said he is often told that he may lose ticket for the next general election.
Asked if he could join any other political party, the former cinestar responded with his signature dialogue- "khamosh (keep quiet)".
The government should seek suggestions from "experts and learned people from the opposition" like former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and others in running the country, he said.
The MP also hit out at Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley over the latter's "job applicant at 80" barb directed at senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha.
"He (Jaitley) may himself lose his job but is suggesting job for others," Sinha quipped.
Sinha claimed "a very big" leader called him up one day and asked him why he was "speaking the language of opposition" on demonetisation and GST. The actor-turned-politician said he told that leader that what he said was in the national interest.