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Shatrughan Sinha has opened up about his feud with the late Rajesh Khanna over politics. Rajesh was unhappy with Shatrughan’s decision to contest against him in a by-election for the New Delhi constituency.

In 1992, Rajesh contested the by-election on a Congress ticket, while Shatrughan was a member of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). There were over 100 candidates, with most of them contesting independently. Rajesh ended up defeating Shatrughan by over 28,000 votes and retained his seat till 1996.

Talking to The Times of India, Shatrughan said, “Rajesh was very upset when I contested against him in a by-election. Honestly, I didn’t want to, but couldn’t refuse LK Advani ji. I tried explaining this to Rajesh but he did not like it; we didn’t speak for quite a long time. However, we did start talking after many years.”

Shatrughan said that Rajesh died before he could make amends. “I wanted to go and apologise to him when he was in the hospital and hug him, but sadly, he passed away before I could do that,” he said.

Rajesh died in 2012. He was suffering from a liver ailment. He is survived by his estranged wife, Dimple Kapadia and daughters, Twinkle and Rinke.

In 2019, Shatrughan left the BJP after being associated with the party for over two decades and joined Congress. “I saw democracy changing into dictatorship in the BJP… It has become a one-man show and two-man army,” he said at the time.

Shatrughan was the first Bollywood actor to become a cabinet minister and had won from the Patna Sahib constituency. He has also held the union shipping and health ministries in the past.

Last year, Shatrughan’s son, Luv Sinha, contested the Bihar assembly elections from the Bankipur seat. However, he lost to Nitin Nabin of the BJP.