Actor-turned-politician Shatrughan Sinha today rubbished opposition charge that he rarely visited his constituency Patna Sahib and insisted that he was a native of Patna and more concerned about the place than anybody else.
"Check the record from my office or airport on how many times I come to Patna...I come here almost four times in a month," Sinha said.
Sinha's reaction was in response to Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's assertion that people coming from Mumbai in the morning would catch a flight out in the evening.
Sinha wondered, "If it were so, why should I tell my party leader that Patna Sahib is my first and last choice?" "Jeena yahan marna yahan, iske siva jana kahan (I have to live and die here)," he said, alluding to the evergreen song by Mukesh in a Raj Kapoor movie to drive home the point.
Sinha, who is seeking reelection from Patna Sahib, was talking to reporters after opening his main election office in Kankarbagh area.
He said even when he was a Rajya Sabha member from Bihar he had told the party leadership that he would like to contest election from Patna Sahib instead of entering into politics through "backdoor".
Asked about black flags shown to him during filing of nomination for doing precious little as an MP, Sinha, popularly known as "Bihari Babu", played down the incident, hinting it was a "family affair" within the BJP triggered by some disgruntled leaders who failed to get party nomination from the seat.
But, once the BJP parliamentary board decided in my favour and president Rajnath Singh put a seal of approval, the issue was closed.
Reports suggest that BJP deputy leader in the Rajya Sabha Ravishankar Prasad was interested in contesting from Patna Sahib, which also happens to be his home.
On the ouster of senior BJP leader Jaswant Singh from the BJP, Sinha, known for his 'frank' outbursts which many a time had gone against the party line, tried to play safe.
"I am not a party office-bearer to comment on such issues.
This is a crucial election and we shall avoid making unwanted comments which could trigger controversy," he said.
Sinha lavishly praised prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi whom he described as "Dabangg" and "action-packed hero".
The consummate actor said with a strong leadership at the Centre under Modi, along with other parts of the country, Patna Sahib would also see a dramatic turnover in terms of development.