Yashwant Sinha severs ties with BJP, says Indian democracy is in danger

Yashwant Sinha said he is not an aspirant for any top post but will work towards “saving democracy in the country”.

india Updated: Apr 21, 2018 23:51 IST
Anil Kumar
Anil Kumar
Patna, Hindustan Times
Yashwant Sinha,BJP,Yashwant Sinha quits BJP
Former Union minister Yashwant Sinha speaks at an event in Patna on Saturday.(AP Dube/HT Photo)

Former Union minister Yashwant Sinha, who has been a vocal critic of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government at the Centre, announced on Saturday that he will end his long-time ties with the Bharatiya Janata Party.

Stressing that “democracy is in danger”, Sinha said in Patna he will launch a movement for “the restoration of democracy as it is vital for the country, its people and their freedom”.

“I am taking sanyas (retiring) from party politics…I am not going to be a member of any other political party,” Sinha, whose son Jayant Sinha is the Union minister of state for civil aviation, said at a meeting of a group he launched earlier this year.

Sinha had in the recent past launched a tirade against the Centre, especially its economic policies, after the government’s November 2016 move to scrap old Rs 500 and Rs 1000 banknotes.

In January, Sinha and BJP MP Shatrughan Sinha, another detractor of the Modi government, launched the Rashtra Manch, which saw the participation of a number of politicians.

Its Saturday meeting was attended by RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav, Congress leader Renuka Choudhary and AAP leaders Sanjay Singh and Ashutosh alongside Sinha and Shatrughan Sinha.

“We need to ponder over country’s situation or else nation will not forgive us for keeping silent on all round deterioration,” the 80-year-old Sinha said.

Born on November 6, 1937, Sinha was influenced by Jayaprakash Narayan’s socialist movement of the mid-seventies.

Between 1980 and 1984, Sinha was joint secretary in the ministry of surface transport.

He eventually resigned from the Indian Administrative Service in 1984 and joined active politics as a member of the Janta Party. He was appointed all-India general secretary of the party in 1986 and was elected member of the Rajya Sabha in 1988.

When the Janta Dal was formed in 1989, he was appointed its general secretary. He worked as minister of finance from November 1990 to June 1991 in Chandra Shekhar’s Cabinet.

Sinha became the national spokesperson of the BJP in June 1996 and was appointed finance minister of India in March 1998.

(With agency inputs)

First Published: Apr 21, 2018 14:00 IST