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Modi is not an issue, people’s problems are: Yashwant Sinha

Sinha said all promises the BJP made before the 2014 polls have fallen flat and the next 11 months are very crucial for the Indian polity.

india Updated: May 20, 2018 23:09 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Yashwant Sinha,Narendra Modi,PM Modi
BJP MP Shatrughan Sinha (left), and former union minister Yashwant Sinha speaking during a media interaction at Chandigarh Press Club on Sunday.(Keshav Singh/HT)

Former finance minister Yashwant Sinha on Sunday said Prime Minister Narendra Modi is not the issue, but the problems faced by the people of the country are.

Speaking during a media interaction, Sinha, who was in Chandigarh as part of nation-wide meetings of the National Forum or Rashtra Manch he floated along with actor-turned-politician Shatrughan Sinha, said, “Farming and farmers are in a crisis and the country’s financial health is gloomy. Through the National Forum, we are raising these issues. We are not talking about personalities but just trying to tell what is wrong with the government.”

Sinha quit the BJP in April this year.

Flanked by Shatrughan Sinha and former Union minister Harmohan Dhawan, Sinha added, “In 2019, people will not vote on the basis of what Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi or Manmohan Singh had done, they will vote on basis of what the BJP government in last five years did.”

He said all promises the BJP made before the 2014 polls have fallen flat and the next 11 months are very crucial for the Indian polity.

“I can talk openly about the issues when out of party. It’s not the BJP what it was before 2014. It’s Narendra Modi government. The party is being run by just two persons,” he said, in an oblique reference to Modi and BJP national president Amit Shah.

Responding to a query, Sinha said Pakistan had befooled India and they have been diplomatically clever. “Pak-sponsored terrorism and cross-border firing continue despite the efforts by Modi.”

As to which political leader would take on Modi during the 2019 general elections, Sinha said that leaders are not made but they evolve. “Modi was a chief minister before becoming prime minister. There many capable chief ministers who potentially can be prime ministerial choices,” he said.

Will not leave BJP: Shatrughan

BJP MP Shatrughan Sinha said he would not leave the party which he joined when it had just two MPs. “But the party can leave me if they wish to. I will accept their diktat. I can work better within the party fold,” he said.

Bitter over not having been invited to campaign in the Bihar assembly polls, the MP said, “I was a star campaigner when I joined the party. But I was not allowed to go to Bihar for campaigning in the 2014 polls.”

“Why the BJP is not taking action against me? It’s because there’s nothing against me. There’s no allegation of corruption or misconduct,” he said.

Will neither resign nor campaign for BJP: Dhawan

Former Union minister and senior BJP leader Harmohan Dhawan said he will neither resign from the party not campaign for it in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

Dhawan said, “In Chandigarh, I am not known by the BJP, but by my work for the city. I have been to jail 10 times in my 40 years’ political career. It’s unfortunate that in the past four years, Chandigarh BJP leaders did not fulfil any promise, and now people are questioning us.”

First Published: May 20, 2018 21:16 IST