|He played supporting roles in Khilona, Dulal Guha's Dost in 1974, Aa Gale Lag Jaa, Jheel Ke Us Paar and Gambler in 1970. He played with Amitabh Bachchan in films like Raaste Ka Paththar, Yaar Meri Zindagi , Shaan and Kala Paththar who were flops and later acted in Bombay To Goa, Dostana and Naseeb. His films as the main hero between 1970 and 1975 were not successful. His first successful film as a senior hero was in Kalicharan in 1976.
Subhash Ghai had gone with the story of Kalicharan to NN Sippy and said he wanted to make his first film. N.N.Sippy prepared to produce after a few days, but only wanted to throw Rajesh Khanna in the lead role of Kalicharan. It was only when NNSippy confirmed to Rajesh Khanna that Rajesh did not have dates for the years 1976 and 1977, that Sippy asked Subhash Ghai to go ahead with the script and to direct Kaalicharan with Shatrughan Sinha in the lead.
Some of his notable films as the main hero were Ab Kya Hoga, Khan Dost, Yaaraon Ka Yaar, Dillagi, Vishwanath, Muqabla, Jaani Dushman. He later became a bankable action hero in the early eighties in the mid-nineties. He co-starred with Sanjeev Kumar in Bereham, Hathkadi, Bad Aur Badnaam, Chehre Pe Chehra, Hirasat and Qatl. He played in Naram Garam of Hrishikesh Mukherjee, Bombay 405 Miles and Taqdeer of Brij.
He sang the song Ek Baat Suni Hai Chachaji with singer Sushma Shresta in the movie Naram Garam in 1981 composed by R.D. Burman. However, when his films like Prakash Mehra's Jawalamukhi, Amjad Khan's Chor Police and Ameer Aadmi Garib Aadmi and Raj Khosla's Mera Dost Meraa Dushman became critics' flops, his playing career was threatened.
Sinha is a member of the Bharatiya Janata party. He entered politics while contesting in a by-election opposed to Rajesh Khanna. Sinha quoted in an interview that his biggest regret in his life was to challenge the election against his friend Khanna. Khanna won the election by beating Sinha by 25,000 votes, but he was wounded and never spoke to Sinha afterwards. Sinha tried to rebuild her friendship with Khanna, but this never happened until Khanna's death in 2012.
He won the constituency of Patna Sahib Lok Sabha in Bihar during the 2009 Indian general election. He defeated another movie celebrity, Shekhar Suman. Out of a total of 552,293 votes, Sinha received 316,472 votes. He also won the seat in the following Indian general election in 2014.
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