Forced to return: Yashwant Sinha, ex-BJP leader, joins TMC ahead of Bengal polls

Former BJP leader Yashwant Sinha joins Trinamool Congress in Kolkata. (ANI)

Former Union Finance Minister and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) veteran Yashwant Sinha on Saturday joined the Trinamool Congress weeks ahead of the West Bengal Assembly elections.

Right after joining the TMC, Sinha said, “You must be surprised why at this age when I’d distanced myself from party politics. Why am I joining a party and turning active? I’d like to say the country is going through an extraordinary situation.”

“The strength of democracy lies in the strength of the institutions of democracy. All these institutions including the judiciary have become weak now,” he said.

Taking a swipe at the BJP, the former Union minister said that the aim of the ruling party seems to be to win elections somehow.

“BJP during Atal Ji’s time believed in consensus but today’s government believes in crushing and conquering. Akalis, BJD have left the BJP. Today, who is standing with BJP?” he asked.

The 83-year-old former senior BJP leader had quit his party back in 2018.

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I’d like to say the country is going through an extraordinary situation, Sinha said.

The veteran BJP leader joined his new party today at the Trinamool Bhawan in Kolkata in the presence of Derek O Brien, Sudip Bandopadhyay and Subrata Mukherjee.

Speaking about Sinha’s joining, Mukherjee stated: “We are proud to have Yashwant Sinha joining us.”

Yashwant Sinha’s son Jayant Sinha remains a BJP member and Parliamentarian from Hazaribagh in Jharkhand. Although a Minister of State for Civil Aviation and Finance under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s first term (2014 to 19), he was given no ministerial responsibilities following re-election in 2019.

West Bengal will witness a triangular contest this time with TMC, Congress-Left alliance and the BJP in the fray.

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The eight-phased Assembly polls in the state will begin on 27 March. Counting of all votes will be held on 2 May.

The tenure of the 16th Legislative Assembly of West Bengal will end on 30 May this year. A total of 7,34,07,832 voters will choose their representative for the 17th Legislative Assembly of West Bengal.

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