Senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha and party MP Shatrughan Sinha on Tuesday launched a new political action group, National Forum or Rashtra Manch. At the launch, the leaders targeted the government and Prime Minister Narendra Modi and announced a nationwide movement on farmers issues with the support of leaders of various political parties.
Speaking to reporters, Yashwant said misuse of government machinery was creating fear. He said people across the country were living in fear now, but 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.
Yashwant said government agencies such as the CBI, NIA, ED and Income Tax Department were being misused against political opponents to suppress their voice. Yashwant said he would appeal the Parliamentarians to ask the government in the upcoming session what was happening on issues raised by senior judges of the Supreme Court a few days ago.
Asked why they did not raise such issues before a party forum and in Parliament, actor-turned-politician Shatrughan said, “Agar hum wahan keh paate, agar hamari sunwai hoti, agar hamen aisa mauka milta ya avsar diya jata to shayad aaj yeh manch nahin hota (If we could speak there, if we were heard, if we got that opportunity, probably this forum wouldn’t have happened).”
Earlier, Yashwant said the forum has not been formed against policies of the BJP or any other party. It will, he said, present the major challenges facing the nation before the people. He clarified that it will never convert into a political party. Asked about participation of leaders from various political parties in the forum, Yashwant said it will be a political action group that will not be bound by one party or other. “This is a nationwide movement on the issues which are creating concerns for us,” he said.
Yashwant said the commitments of Rashtra Manch include protecting and preserving institutions of democracy at all cost, ensuring complete accountability of those in power, ensuring complete security of farmers’ income, assuring a life of dignity for women and providing full security to them, among others.
Trinamool MP Dinesh Trivedi, Congress MP Renuka Chowdhury, AAP MP Sanjay Singh, RLD vice-president Jayanat Chaudhary and leaders from other parties were present on the occasion.