Delhi: Former Union finance minister and senior Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) leader Yashwant Sinha on Saturday quit BJP, saying he would not engage in party politics. He announced this at a function in Patna, organised by Rashtra Manch, an apolitical forum. The function was also attended by rebel BJP MP Shatrughan Sinha and leader of Opposition in Bihar Assembly Tejaswi Prasad Yadav.
Making the announcement, Yashwant Sinha said: “I have long been with BJP but I am announcing today to severe all my ties with BJP….. I will not now be part of any party politics.” Sinha, who had openly rebelled against BJP by criticising its demonetisation, said BJP had scant respect for democratic values. Sinha made it clear that Rashtra Manch had been an apolitical forum and had nothing to do with politics. The Manch had invited several leaders from non-NDA parties. Even though Sinha announced his retirement from active politics, the political gathering at Patna is being taken as a move ahead for the Opposition’s Mission 2019. Rebel JD (U) leader and former Bihar Assembly Speaker Uday Narayan Choudhary also attended the meeting. Though TMC chief and West Bengal CM had been also invited, she did not attend it.
Sinha blamed BJP for not “ensuring smooth conduct” of both houses of Parliament. He said, “Patna has always shown the country the way forward when there had been a crisis. The Parliament session had been cut short because of Gujarat Assembly polls. Such things had never happened”. Turning to Shatrughan Sinha, Yashwant Sinha said “You must not worry because I have now quit electoral politics. But I will join the movement to save democracy.”