While delivering his Chief Guest address at a recently held event in New Delhi, the yesteryear film star, former union minister and Member of Parliament from Patna Sahib Shatrughan Sinha took a humorous take at him being the Health Minister of India. He said his brothers – Ram, Lakshman and Bharat – had professional medical degree. They all have prefix ‘Dr’ before their names but he was the only one in the family who was not even eligible to be the compounder but became the Health Minister of India. Sinha who was given the health and later shipping portfolio in Atal Bihari Vajpayee government, attributed it to the beauty of the Indian democracy.
Emphasising on the role of healthcare, he said while he was the health minister he came in touch with experts and health professionals who improved his understanding of healthcare challenges in India. During his tenure, Sinha had initiated anti-tobacco campaign which led to intense pressure on him from tobacco lobby but he did not succumb. In fact, when he was shunted-out from ministry of health to shipping, many in the press had speculative that it was done under the pressure of tobacco lobby.
Like senior leaders L K Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Sinha has not been included in the Prime Minister Narendra Modi government. In recent past, he has often taken contrary views from BJP on various issues – be it rape of young child in Kathua or killing of Akhlaq for alleged possession of meat.
Recently, talking to a TV news channel, he had indicated he may contest the next Lok Sabha election on a different party ticket, stating that leaders like him were “unfairly treated” from the day the Modi government was formed. “I have offers from other parties. Whether I serve through my party or some other parties or even contest independently, it hardly matters,” he told Times Now.