Trinamool Congress Vice President Yashwant Sinha stepped down from all party posts this morning before being named the opposition’s joint candidate for the presidential race. After three prominent political figures – West Bengal Governor Gopalkrishna Gandhi, the supremo Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) Sharad Pawar, and former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah – accepted the opposition’s invitation to become the common presidential candidate for upcoming polls On July 18, former Union Minister Yashwant Sinha has been put forward by the joint opposition to run for president in the presidential election. TMC’s vice president, Mr. Sinha, resigned from all party positions on Tuesday morning, hours before the meeting of opposition parties to declare their common presidential candidate.
The post-BJP era
After being one of the top figures in the BJP for nearly two and a half decades, Mr. Sinha left the Saffron Party in 2018, alleging that the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government at the Center was undermining democratic institutions. By declaring that he would cut all ties with the BJP and “take sanyas out of party politics”, the senior leader had announced his quest to “save democracy”. An outspoken critic of NDA policies such as the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) in the years that followed, Mr. Sinha launched a 3,000-mile Gandhi Peace March demanding the withdrawal of the CAA.
In March 2021, ahead of the crucial parliamentary elections in West Bengal, the octogenarian leader, once again citing the democratic cause, joined Mamta Banerjee’s TMC. After serving as finance minister during the tenure of the late Atal Bihari Vajpayee from 1998 to 2002, Mr. Sinha had said when he joined the TMC: “Atal ji’s BJP and the BJP are now two poles apart. Atal ji believed in consensus; the current government believes in crushing. †
In the Parliament and Cabinet of the Union
Inspired by Jaya Prakash Narayan, the socialist Janata Party (JP) veteran, Mr. Sinha retired from his long career in the Indian Administrative Services (IAS) in 1984 and joined the JP, completing his foray into active politics began. He successfully participated in the Rajya Sabha elections in 1988. In 1989, he joined the Janata Dal and served as finance minister in the short-lived government of the late Prime Minister Chandra Shekhar from 1990 to 1991.
In 1992 he shifted his political leanings to the BJP, and in 1996, he became the party’s national spokesperson. After successfully contesting the Lok Sabha polls of Hazaribagh constituency in Jharkhand in 1998, he became Finance Minister in Mr. Vajapayee’s cabinet. He won his Lok Sabha seat for a second time in 1999, ahead of Mr. Vajpayee’s third term as Prime Minister, and was subsequently appointed Foreign Minister from 2002 to 2004.
He lost his Lok Sabha seat in 2004 and re-joined parliament after winning a Rajya Sabha seat later that year. He became a Lok Sabha MP again in 2009 but found himself on the fringe of the BJP, unlike his pivotal role in the Vajpayee era. A rebellious Mr. Sinha went against party lines in 2012, supporting congressional candidate Pranab Mukherjee in the presidential election. After ogivingHazaribagh’s Lok Sabha mantle to his son Jayant Sinha in the 2014 elections, Mr. Sinha decided to end his affiliation with the Saffron Party in 2018.
Career Administrative Services
During his 24-year stint in Administrative Services, he held multiple positions in the Finance and Trade Departments in Bihar and New Delhi. In the early 1970s, he was the First Secretary (Commercial) of the Indian Embassy in Bonn, Germany. He was also the Indian Consul General in Frankfurt for a year.