Presidential Polls: Yashwant Sinha, The IAS-Turned-Politician Who Became A Vocal Critique Of PM Modi

Yashwant in his nearly four-decade-old political career has been marked by the top leaders including socialist ideologue Chandra Shekhar and saffron stalwart Lal Krishna Advani

By Anushka Vats
Wed, 22 Jun 2022 11:12 AM IST
Minute Read
Presidential Polls: Yashwant Sinha, The IAS-Turned-Politician Who Became A Vocal Critique Of PM Modi
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The opposition parties on Tuesday announced former Union Minister Yashwant Sinha as their common candidate for the Presidential election which is scheduled to be held in July. "We (opposition parties) have unanimously decided that Yashwant Sinha will be our common candidate for the Presidential election," Congress leader Jairam Ramesh said after the meeting of at least 13 opposition parties held at the Parliament Annexe.

Yashwant in his nearly four-decade-old political career has been marked by the top leaders including socialist ideologue Chandra Shekhar and saffron stalwart Lal Krishna Advani. The former IAS officer earned key party and government positions before his political stars waned in the last decade with the rise of a new BJP leadership.

All You Need To Know About Yashwant Sinha

Yashwant, served as a Bihar-cadre IAS Officer for 24 years and then quit his job in 1984 and joined Janata Party. He also served as a principal secretary to the then Bihar Chief Minister Karpoori Thakur.

Yashwant was soon entrusted with the key position of general secretary and made his debut in Rajya Sabha in 1988.

He served as the Finance Minister for short -lived Chandra Shekhar government starting from 1990 to 1991 and also under Atal Bihari Vajpayee
for a tenure of 4 years starting from March 1998 to July 2002.

It was during his term as Finance Minister that the colonial practice to present the Union Budget at 5 pm was junked. He has been credited with ushering in reforms and rationalisation of taxes during the Vajpayee era, though it did not make either him or the government a favourite with the RSS-backed 'Swadeshi' school of economic thought, seen to be a reason for his shift from the ministry.

He remained Finance Minister till 2002 and then made External Affairs Minister.

Yashwant who always carried a rebel streak, boycotted the swearing-in ceremony of the V P Singh government in 1989 and then went all out against then BJP president Nitin Gadkari in 2013 over alleged corruption charges when the Maharashtra leader was set to get a second term.

Gadkari was forced to quit but Sinha's actions, which many believed had the blessings of Advani, further pushed him to the margins of the party whose rank and file always nursed resentment over the rise of a leader not really dyed in the saffron wool.

After he quit BJP in 2018, he joined the Trinamool Congress in 2021.

However, Yashwant announced his resignation from the Trinamool Congress on June 21, 2022. He tweeted, "“I am grateful to Mamataji for the honour and prestige she bestowed on me in the TMC. Now a time has come when for a larger national cause I must step aside from the party to work for greater opposition unity. I am sure she approves of the step.”

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