Congress leader Shatrughan Sinha on Sunday praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Independence Day speech, describing it as “courageous, well-researched and thought-provoking”. The actor-turned-politician was a member of the Bharatiya Janata Party before joining the Congress in April ahead of the General Elections.

“Since I am famous or infamous for calling a spade a spade, I must admit here, honourable PM that your speech from the Red Fort on August 15, 2019m was extremely courageous, well researched and thought provoking,” Sinha tweeted. “Superb delivery of the key problems facing the country.”

Before joining the Congress, Sinha had repeatedly criticised the BJP on several matters, including sidelining of veteran leaders. He had also called the saffron party a “one-man show, two-man army” that was functioning as an autocracy. It was a reference to Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah.

The Congress fielded Sinha in the Lok Sabha elections from Patna Sahib in Bihar, which he lost to his former party colleague and current Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad by 2,84,657 votes.

Sinha’s praise for Modi came two days after senior Congress leader P Chidamabaram lauded Modi’s emphasis in the speech on family planning, respect for wealth creators and ban on single-plastic use.

In his speech, the prime minister said wealth creators were the nation’s wealth. He also voiced concerns about “population explosion” in the country, and said the central and state governments should launch measures to deal with the matter. He also urged people to use cloth and paper bags instead of plastics.