Senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha and party MP Shatrughan Sinha on Tuesday launched a political action group, National Forum or Rashtra Manch, which, they said, would present before people the major challenges confronting the nation. Even though Sinha attacked the government and Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the launch event, he said the forum had not been formed to counter the policies of the government or any other party and clarified that it will never convert into a political party.
Besides welfare of women and protection of rights of minorities, the forum’s seven-point agenda lists rural distress and farmer suicides as its top priorities. According to the forum’s website, the group is “committed to protecting, preserving and safeguarding the institutions of democracy in India at all cost and ensuring the complete accountability of those in power”. The Rashtra Manch also promises to ensure the security of farmers’ income. At the launch event on Tuesday, Sinha announced a nationwide movement to safeguard farmers with the support of leaders of various political parties.
The forum, launched in Delhi, also says it will look into the livelihood concerns of all, especially the youth of the country, besides ensuring better the quality of life of people, mainly in the rural areas and in the urban slums. The commitment of the forum also includes assuring a life of dignity for women and providing full security to them. Protecting the constitutional rights of the weaker sections and the minorities and ensuring complete national security (internal, external, economic, environmental and cyber) are the other committments of the Rashtra Manch.
Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Yashwant said misuse of government machinery was creating fear in the minds of the people but said the members of the ruling party, excluding him and Shatrughan, were living in maximum fear. “Kahan yeh Atalji aur Advaniji ki party pahunch gayi hai (Where has the party of Atalji and Advaniji reached),” he said.