Kolkata | Jagran Politics Desk: Former Union Minister and ex-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Yashwant Sinha on Saturday joined the Trinamool Congress (TMC) ahead of the highly anticipated assembly elections in West Bengal. He joined the TMC at its headquarters in Kolkata in the presence of senior party leaders Derek O'Brien, Sudip Bandopadhyay and Subrata Mukherjee.

"The country is facing an unprecedented situation today. The strength of democracy lies in the strength of the institutions of democracy. All these institutions including the judiciary have become weak now," Sinha said, as reported by news agency ANI.

"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 added.

"The tipping point was the attack on Mamata Ji in Nandigram. It was the moment of decision to join TMC and support Mamata Ji," he further said.

The 83-year-old, who served as the Union Finance Minister under the Atal Bihar Vajpayee government, had left the BJP in 2018 amid differences with the top leadership of the party, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah.

Sinha's decision to join the TMC which has been rattled by the departure of several of its senior leaders, including MPs and MLAs, ahead of the West Bengal Assembly Elections 2021.

While several MLAs and MPs, including Suvendu Adhikari and Dinesh Trivedi, have left the TMC and shifted their loyalties to the BJP, the party has expressed hope that it will retain power in the state for the third straight term.

The West Bengal Assembly Elections 2021 will be held in eight phases from March 27 to April 29 while the fate of the candidates will be announced on May 2, the Election Commission announced in February.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma