Yashwant Sinha quits BJP  

Former Finance Minister and senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha on Saturday announced end of his association with Bhartiya Janata Party

Photo by Waseem Gashroo/Hindustan Times via Getty Images
Photo by Waseem Gashroo/Hindustan Times via Getty Images

NH Web Desk

Senior BJP leader and former Union Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha, who has been trenchant in his criticism of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his government, on Saturday announced that he was snapping his links with the BJP and launching a countrywide campaign to save the democracy.

"I am announcing here from this stage to end my long time relation with the Bharatiya Janata Party," he said while addressing the first meeting of Rashtra Manch, founded by him.

Eighty-year-old Sinha, who had joined the BJP in the mid-90s, said "Aaj se mera BJP ke saath rishta samapt ho gaya. Main apna sambandh viched kar raha hun BJP se. Main BJP se khud ko alag kar raha hun (From today my relation with BJP is over. I'm severing my ties with the party...)."

He said that from now he will try to unite all non-BJP parties, "I will not join any political party and will have nothing to do with party-politics."

"I am not an aspirant for any top post and I am making it clear here that I am not at all interested to seek any post," he added.

Sinha, who was Finance Minister and External Affairs Minister in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government, attended the meeting of the Rashtra Manch along with BJP MP Satrughan Sinha, RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav, Congress leader Renuka Choudhary and AAP leaders Sanjay Singh and Ashutosh.

In 2017, Sinha had created a political storm with an article in the Indian Express claiming that the Indian economy was poised for a hardlanding after demonetisation and GST.

Again, earlier this week he had written an open letter to BJP MPs asking them to challenge the leadership before the next elections so that correctives could be taken.

The veteran BJP leader although announced on Saturday his decision to sever all ties with the party, he has been publicly voicing his concern over the dysfunctional NDA Government at the Centre. In Patna on Saturday, addressing a convention of the National Forum (Rashtra Manch), the veteran leader declared that his heart beats for the country and now that democracy itself is under threat, he would devote his energy in building a popular movement to safeguard the nation.

In a signed editorial page article in The Indian Express just five days ago, he made the following points :

  • Today, it appears as if winning elections by controlling the means of communication, specially the media and social media, is the sole purpose of our party…
  • Internal democracy in the party stands completely destroyed. Friends tell me that even in parliamentary party meetings, MPs do not get an opportunity, as in the past, to air their views. In the other party meetings, also, the communication is always one-way. They speak and you listen. The prime minister has no time for you. The party headquarter has become a corporate office where it is impossible to meet the CEO.
  • Institutions of democracy have been demeaned and denigrated. Parliament has been reduced to the level of a joke. The prime minister did not even once sit down with senior leaders of the Opposition parties in Parliament when the just-concluded Budget Session was being disrupted in order to find a way out. Then he fasted to shift the blame to others.
  • The government has now completed nearly four years in office, presented five budgets and used up all the opportunity available to it to show results. At the end of it, however, we seem to have lost our way and the confidence of the voters.
  • A fast growing economy does not accumulate the kind of non-performing assets in its banks, as we have done over the last four years. In a fast growing economy the farmers are not in distress, the youth are not without jobs, small businesses do not stand destroyed and savings and investment do not fall as drastically as they have done over the last four years.
  • Women are more unsafe today than ever before. Rapes have become the order of the day and instead of acting strictly against the rapists we have become their apologists. In many cases, our own people are involved in these heinous crimes.
  • The sum total of our foreign policy seems to consist of frequent foreign visits by the prime minister and his hugging foreign dignitaries, whether they like it or not. It is completely devoid of substance and has failed miserably even in our immediate neighbourhood, where China is trampling all over our interests.
  • The interest of the country supersedes that of the party, just as the interest of the party supersedes the interest of an individual. I am appealing specially to Advaniji and Joshiji to take a stand in the national interest.

(With inputs from IANS)

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Published: 21 Apr 2018, 2:46 PM