Veteran BJP leader Yashwant Sinha quits party; says democracy under threat


Patna, Apr 21, 2018 (PTI) Severing ties with the BJP, former Union minister Yashwant Sinha, who has been critical of the current party leadership, today announced that he is quitting party politics, and will now work for "saving democracy in the country".

"I have had a long association with the BJP. Today I am severing my ties with the BJP," the 80-year-old leader announced at a meeting here attended by opposition leaders from the Congress and the RJD besides dissident BJP leader and Patna Sahib MP Shatrughan Sinha.

Sinha, however, made it clear that he would not join any other political party.

"I am announcing from this platform that four years back I had quit electoral politics. Now I am taking 'sanyas' from party politics," he

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.

"I am not going to be a member of any other political party," Sinha said.

A bitter critic of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Sinha said that he would launch a strong movement to "save democracy" in the country.

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

A bureaucrat-turned politician, Sinha was born on November 6, 1937 in Patna.

He 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.

Influenced by Loknayak Jayprakash Narayan, Sinha eventually 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 rge 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.