The Modi lahar (wave) of 2014 has degenerated into kahar (disaster) in the last five years and the Mahagathbandhan in Bihar is all set to blow away the BJP-led NDA, actor-turned-politician Shatrughan Sinha claimed today.
He said in the neighbouring Uttar Pradesh too, where his wife has been fielded by the SP-BSP combine, though the Congress is contesting separately, the BJP will be similarly swept away.
"Mahagathbandhan un logon ke parkhachche udaa dega (grand alliance will blow them away)," Mr Sinha, who seeks to retain his Patna Sahib seat on a Congress ticket, said at a press conference in the Bihar capital on the final day of campaign.
He is pitted against Union minister Ravishankar Prasad in Patna Sahib seat that will see voting on May 19.
Lambasting the BJP, which he quit last month ending nearly three decades of association, for claiming that Mr Sinha had been unhappy over not getting a ministerial berth in the Narendra Modi government, the actor, who is fondly called "Bihari Babu", quipped this is tantamount to "chori oopar se seenazori".
"Let us, for a moment, assume that I had issues over not getting a ministerial berth. Now could the one man show and two-man army (a term Mr Sinha has been using to describe the BJP under PM Modi and Amit Shah) explain why it treated badly stalwarts like LK Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi," he asked.
"The BJP should also explain why an intellectual giant like Arun Shourie, who was with the party, is now so bitterly opposed to it. And what led Yashwant Sinha, who was once such a powerful leader, to quit the party in disgust," he added.
Mr Sinha was flanked by party colleague and former Union minister Subodh Kant Sahay, his twin sons- Luv and Kush- besides other leaders of the mahagathbandhan.
"Their problem was, I was speaking the truth, about the huge inconvenience caused to the people and harm done to the economy through demonetization. I was speaking against the shoddy implementation of the GST, which has made our traders suffer. And I was asking the government to come clean on the Rafale deal, the second-term lawmaker from Patna Sahib said.
At Thursday's roadshow held by Rahul Gandhi, where the turnout was historic and the enthusiasm verged on hysterical, somebody teased me with the question Chhenu aaya tha? (did Chhenu come).
I said, "I was not sure, but Chowkidaar chor hai certainly reverberated through the air."
"Chhenu aaya tha" is a popular dialogue from the old movie "Mere Apne" where Mr Sinha played the role of the antagonist named "Chhenu" -- a street ruffian fond of delivering pungent one-liners.
Mr Sinha showered praise on coalition partners for making the roadshow a success and lambasted the BJP for meting out ill-treatment to jailed RJD supremo Lalu Prasad, who is serving sentences in fodder scam cases.
"The slogan - "jail ka taala tootega, Lalu Yadav chhootega" (the padlock on the jails gate will be prized open and Lalu will be set free) would soon become a reality," he hoped.
Speaking at the press conference, Mr Sahay said, "The BJP once bragged it was going to get 400 plus. Now it has scaled down its bluster by 100 seats. Seriously speaking, we are confident of Congress emerging as the single largest party and we acknowledge that states like Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Orissa where we do not have an alliance with the dominant regional parties, will play a major contributory role in formation of the next government."
He ducked queries about the possibility of Rahul Gandhi becoming the Prime Minister saying we will discuss that at meetings of opposition parties scheduled in New Delhi on May 21 and then again after results are out on May 23.
"We do not believe in the BJP style of authoritarian leadership. Sonia Gandhi had ample support for taking up the top post after the 2004 general elections, but she decided otherwise in national interest," the former Union minister remarked.