Highlights: Yashwant Sinha quits, BJP calls him ‘a puppet of Congress’https://indianexpress.com/article/india/yashwant-sinha-quits-bjp-live-updates-5146188/

Highlights: Yashwant Sinha quits, BJP calls him ‘a puppet of Congress’

Yashwant Sinha, who has been at loggerheads with the party leadership for quite some time, alleged that democracy was under threat under the present government.

Former Union minister Yashwant Sinha. (File)
Former Union minister Yashwant Sinha. (File)

Former Union minister Yashwant Sinha on Saturday announced his decision to quit the BJP during an event with opposition leaders in Patna on Saturday. “Today I am taking ‘sanyas’ from any kind of party politics, I am ending all ties with the BJP,” the minister was quoted by news agency PTI.

Sinha, who has been at loggerheads with the party leadership for quite some time, alleged that democracy was under threat under the present government.

Leaders of the AAP, the Samajwadi Party, the Trinamool Congress, the Rashtriya Lok Dal were also present at the event.

Highlights Yashwant Sinha quits BJP:

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Shatrughan Sinha dismisses rumours of quitting BJP

"There were rumours that I would quit the party because I had not been given the ticket. But, I am clarifying it today that I am here to stay and I am not going to go anywhere," Shatrughan Sinha was quoted as saying by ANI.

BJP MP Shatrughan Sinha was present at the Rashtra Manch function organised in Patna.

BJPs national spokesperson Anil Baluni on Yashwant Sinha

Sinha's comments and writings made it clear that he was no longer in the party and was acting at the Congress' behest. "His comments sounded more like that of a Congress leader or somebody working at the behest of the opposition party," BJP spokesperson and national media head Anil Baluni said.

Sinha has been publicly opposing the Modi government's economic policies and style of functioning.

Yashwant Sinha served as Union Finance and External Affairs minister under Atal Bihari Vajpayee

A bureaucrat-turned-politician, Yashwant Sinha became an IAS officer in 1960 and held several important administrative posts in Bihar as well the central government during his 24-year tenure. He served as Principal Secretary to former Bihar Chief Minister Karpoori Thakur in 1977.

Sinha resigned from the IAS 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 became its General Secretary. He worked as Minister of Finance from November 1990 to June 1991 in Chandra Shekhar's Cabinet.

Following a split in the JD, Sinha shifted to the BJP and became its national spokesperson in June 1996. He served as Union Finance and External Affairs minister under Atal Bihari Vajpayee government.

He did not contest 2014 Parliamentary poll and his son Jayant Sinha won from the Hazaribagh seat in Jharkhand on a BJP ticket. Jayant Sinha is Union Minister of State for Civil Aviation in the Narendra Modi government at present.

BJPs national spokesperson Anil Baluni calls Yashwant Sinha 'a puppet of Congress'

'Yashwant Sinha has formally quit BJP today. However, his latest viewpoints, as well as interviews on TV channels, did indicate that he was no more a BJP member rather a puppet of Congress. Though he has quit today, in his mind he had left the party long back,' says BJPs national spokesperson Anil Baluni. (ANI)

Yashwant Sinha at the Rashtra Manch programme

Yashwant 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 Shatrughan Sinha, RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav, Congress leader Renuka Choudhary and AAP leaders Sanjay Singh and Ashutosh.

AAP, SP, TMC representatives also present at meeting hosted by Rashtriya Manch

The representatives of the AAP, the Samajwadi Party and the Trinamool Congress were also present at the meeting hosted by "Rashtriya Manch" (National Forum) that Sinha had formed on January 30 as an "apolitical forum" to highlight the alleged"anti-people" policies of the Centre.

Such things had never happened: Yashwant Sinha

Sinha blamed BJP for not" ensuring smooth conduct" of both houses of Parliament. "Patna has always shown the country the way forward when there had been a crisis. The Parliament session had been cut short because of Gujarat Assembly polls. Such things had never happened". Turning to Shatrughan Sinha, Yashwant Sinha said 'you must not worry because I have now quit electoral politics.'

Yashwant Sinha says the duration of Lok Sabha sessions were reduced deliberately

While accusing Prime Minister Modi for reducing the duration of Lok Sabha session to campaign for the upcoming Karnataka polls Sinha said, 'It has never happened in any part of the country.'

He said, "The biggest law-enforcing body is in a bad shape. The Parliament has failed to fulfil its responsibility." In a controversial statement, Sinha said, 'One of Supreme Court wings has rotten to an extent that it is stinking.' (ANI)

Yashwant Sinha accuses BJP of disrupting the Parliament session

Addressing the programme, Sinha accused the BJP of disrupting the Parliament session to not allow the opposition to bring a no-confidence motion. He further dismissed the claims made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi of accusing the opposition disrupting the Lok Sabha sessions.

Sinha further pointed out that Lok Sabha speaker Sumitra Mahajan refused to call for voting on the no-confidence motion raised by the opposition that is 'amounting to mocking of democracy.' (ANI)

Yashwant Sinha had written an open letter to the BJP MPs

We all worked very hard for the victory of the party in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. Some of us had been struggling against the rule of the UPA government, in Parliament and outside, ever since it assumed office in 2004 while some others were enjoying the fruits of office in their respective states.

We were delighted with the results of the 2014 elections and expected that the unprecedented victory would mark the beginning of a new and glorious chapter in our country’s history. We backed the prime minister and his team to the hilt, and in full faith. 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.

'Dear friend, speak up'

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

I need to speak up now: Yashwant Sinha

In 2017, Yashwant 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.

Shatrughan Sinha, Tejashwi Yadav present at event

BJP MP Shatrughan Sinha, RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav, Congress leader Renuka Choudhary and AAP leaders Sanjay Singh and Ashutosh were also present at the meeting of the Rashtra Manch.

Not seeking any post: Yashwant Sinha

"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," the former Union minister said at the meeting.

Yashwant Sinha on democracy

The former Union minister said he would launch a strong movement to "save democracy" in the country.

Need to speak up against present situation: Yashwant Sinha

Speaking on the national forum 'Rashtriya Manch', he said, "We do not intend to turn this platform into a political party. However, if we do not speak up against the current situation prevailing in the country, the upcoming generation will hold us accountable."

Yashwant Sinha said he won't join any other party

The senior BJP leader said he would not join any other political party. "I am not going to be a member of any other political party," Sinha said.

Will always be there to serve the country: Yashwant Sinha

Yashwant Sinha, who was addressing the gathering present for the “Rashtriya Manch”, said, 'I welcome you all at the Rashtriya Manch. I will always be there to serve the country. My heart beats for this country.'