Senior Bharatiya Janata Party leaders Yashwant Sinha and Shatrughan Sinha, who have been vocal critics of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, have put officials of the Patna University in a fix by wanting to be accommodated on the same stage as the PM when the latter visits the Bihar capital on 14 October. The PM will be in Patna to preside over the centenary celebration of the university.

The university officials have sent invites to close to 5,000 former students, including Yashwant Sinha and Lok Sabha Member from Patna Saheb, Shatrughan Sinha, apart from several other Union ministers who had studied in the university.

“We can only accommodate a limited number of people on the stage as per protocol. As of now, the Prime Minister, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, the Governor and the Vice Chancellor of the university along with Union ministers J.P. Nadda, Ravi Shankar Prasad, Ashwini Choubey, Ram Vilas Paswan, who are all alumni of the Patna University, will be on stage along with the state education minister Krishna Nandan Verma. Yashwant Sinha and Shatrughan Sinha have been invited as they studied in the university, but they are not supposed to share the dais with the PM and the CM,” said a university official, who is a member of the invitation committee.

Officials said that the Patna University Vice Chancellor has received multiple requests from both Shatrughan Sinha and Yashwant Sinha, seeking a place on the stage with the PM—the latest request was made on Friday evening when the invitation committee members were holding a meeting. While Yashwant Sinha was a student in Patna College, Shatrughan Sinha studied at the Science College. Both of them have spoken to the VC, but have not received any assurances from him.

Former Union Health Minister and senior BJP leader C.P. Thakur, who too is an alumnus of Patna University, has been invited for the centenary celebration, but has not made any such demands on the invitation committee.

Yashwant Sinha, who has served in several senior party positions and as minister in government, and who is now a member of the BJP “Margdarshak Mandal”, has been venting his ire at the Prime Minister from different platforms.

Similarly, Shatrughan Sinha, who has been questioning the functioning of the BJP government since long, recently took to Twitter to attack the Prime Minister, urging him to appear before the press and answer real questions. “Hope, wish and pray that our PM will at least once in a while show that he takes care of the middle class, the traders, small businesses all across the country and specially in Gujarat in the wake of the coming assembly elections,” Shatrughan Sinha tweeted recently.

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