Yashwant Sinha, The Bureaucrat-Turned-Politician Whose Political Career Has Come a Full Circle

Presidential Elections 2022: Born on November 6, 1937, in a Kayastha family in Bihar's Patna, Yashwant Sinha was a former IAS officer, who did his graduation from the University of Patna.

By Aalok Sensharma
Fri, 22 Jul 2022 11:22 AM IST
Minute Read
Yashwant Sinha, The Bureaucrat-Turned-Politician Whose Political Career Has Come a Full Circle
Yashwant Sinha speaks during a meeting with Congress leaders at Hotel BNR in Ranchi. (Photo: ANI)

Yashwant Sinha's political career has come a full circle. The 84-year-old former Union Minister, the opposition's nominee for the presidential elections 2022, lost the polls against National Democratic Alliance (NDA) candidate Droupadi Murmu on Monday.

Born on November 6, 1937, in a Kayastha family in Bihar's Patna, Sinha was a former Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer, who did his graduation from the University of Patna.

As an IAS officer, Sinha served as Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM), District Magistrate (DM), Under Secretary, and Deputy Secretary in the Finance Department in Bihar before becoming a Deputy Secretary in the Union Commerce Ministry in the later 1960s.

He had also served as First Secretary (Commercial) in the Indian Embassy in Germany. Later, he served as the Joint Secretary to the Government of India in the Ministry of Surface Transport from 1980 to 1984.

POLITICAL CAREER

Sinha's political career began in 1984 after he resigned from the IAS and became a member of the Janata Dal-United (JD-U). He continued to rise through the rank and became JDU's All-India General secretary in 1986. In 1988, he became a Rajya Sabha member and later served as Union Finance Minister under Prime Minister Chandra Shekhar till 1991.

However, he joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in 1993, when senior leader LK Advani described him as a "Diwali gift" for the party. A few years later, he became the BJP's national spokesperson. In 1998, 1999, and 2000, he got elected to the Lok Sabha from Jharkhand's Hazaribagh constituency.

In 1998, he became the Union Finance Minister under Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. In July 2000, he was appointed Minister for External Affairs. However, things didn't go well for Sinha from 2004 after he lost his Hazaribagh seat in the 2004 Lok Sabha elections.

His fall continued as several BJP leaders were not happy with Sinha's functioning. The final nail in the coffin, however, was when then Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi was declared as the BJP's Prime Ministerial candidate for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.

Four years later, he resigned from the BJP, saying that the saffron party in its present form was "a threat to democracy". Since then, he tried to revive his political career, but his efforts went in vain. However, in March 2021, Sinha joined Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress (TMC).

A year, he was declared the opposition's candidate for the Presidential elections 2022, but only after Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) supremo Sharad Pawar, National Conference (NC) chief Farooq Abdullah and Mahatma Gandhi's grandson Gopalkrishna Gandhi declined the offer.

"I admit I was the fourth candidate after three potential candidates declined. The opposition parties agreed on the name of the fourth candidate. Many times in my life it has happened that I have been the second choice. Despite being the second choice, I have fully utilized it in the national interest. I am the fourth choice so our chances of winning also double," he told news agency ANI later.

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