A `star war' can be expected in Patna Saheb Parliamentary seat in Bihar after Congress fielded noted small screen actor Shekhar Suman to taken on Bharatiya Janata Party candidate and filmstar Shatrughan Sinha.
Describing Patna as his "home", Suman said that he was aware who his rival was and added that his friendship with `shotgun Sinha' would not be affected due to their political differences. Expressing happiness over Shekhar's candidature, Pradesh Congress Committee president Anil Sharma said the actor's presence will strengthen the party in the state. "I am happy that known actor Shekhar Suman has decided to contest the Lok Sabha election on Congress ticket. Party President Sonia ji has decided his candidature. This will strengthen the party in Bihar," Sharma said.
49-year old Shekhar has acted in and hosted dozens of tv shows including Wah Janab, Dekh Bhai Dekh, Movers and Shakers, The Great Indian Laughter Challenge and Poll Khol and noted Hindi films like Utsav, Naache Mayuri, Chor Machaaye Shor and Pati Parmeshwar. Incidentally, in The Great Indian Laughter Challenge, Suman was replaced by Shatrughan Sinha after initially co-hosting it with Navjyot Singh Sidhu. Asked to comment on the recent controversy over BJP candidate Varun Gandhi's hate speech, Shekhar said no one should make any communal statement.
To a question why he joined Congress which is not in a very strong position in Bihar, the telestar said,"then you can assume that I am not an opportunist." He added that he would strive to strengthen the party in the state as the country needs Congress. Highlighting the "bad conditions of road, electricity and water supply" in Bihar, Shekhar said he would target to solve them. Asked whether Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar is not doing a good job, Shekhar said,"He has done some but others can also do it."
Asked why is he contesting against Sinha as Bollywood actors generally do not contest against each other in elections, Shekhar quipped in by replying "even Shatrughan Sinha once fought against Rajesh Khanna." It's not a contest of personalities but of ideologies. Our personal relationship will have no impact due to election, he added. Asked how tough the contest will be for him given the fact that both he and Sinha come from the same caste group, the deciding factor in the constituency, Shekhar said the fight will be equally tough for both adding "it's never a cake walk."