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Yashwant Sinha: Here Are 10 Lesser Known Facts About the Opposition’s Presidential Pick

Hindustan Times

TMC’s Yashwant Sinha was unanimously selected as the opposition’s candidate for the presidential elections 2022. As NCP leader Sharad Pawar, Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah, and former Bengal Governor Gopalkrishna Gandhi(grandson of Mahatma Gandhi) decided not to contest; let us explore some lesser known facts about Yashwant Sinha, who has dared to contest against the ruling party:

1. Sinha was born in Patna on November 6, 1937. He was raised in a middle-class family in Patna, the capital of Bihar state in eastern India.

2. In 1958 he completed his post-graduation in political science from Patna University and stayed at the university to teach the discipline for two years.

3. In 1960, he cleared the UPSC exam and got into the Indian Administrative Services. In a career that lasted 24 years, he held several posts in Bihar as well as in New Delhi, and also overseas.

4. During his days as a bureaucrat, Sinha was influenced by the socialist policies of Jay Prakash Narayan. In 1984, he decided to quit his IAS job to join the Janata Party under his mentor. Within two years, Sinha rose to the rank of the party’s general secretary.

5. In 1990, Sinha joined the Janata Dal (Socialist) of Chandra Shekhar, following a split in the Janata Dal. However, within a few years, he had shifted his loyalties to the increasingly successful BJP. In June 1996, he was appointed the national spokesperson of BJP, and served in that capacity until June 2005.

6. Sinha’s legislative career was launched with his election to a seat in the Rajya Sabha in 1988. He served as the cabinet minister three times. He was the Minister of Finance in PM Chandra Shekhar’s short-lived government. He also served as the Finance Minister and External Affairs Minister of Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s government from 2002 to 2004.

7. Sinha was elected to the Lok Sabha for the first time in 1998. He was re-elected to the Lok Sabha in the 1999 polls but lost his seat in the 2004 elections. However, he regained his seat in the 2009 elections.

8. However by 2009, Sinha had found himself on the margins of the BJP’s affairs. Considered close to BJP leader Lal Krishna Advani, Sinha was sidelined by the party president Nitin Gadkari. In 2012, as a sign of rebellion, Sinha supported Pranab Mukherjee, the candidate of the Indian National Congress, for the post of president.

9. Sinha is a vocal critic of the incumbent BJP government under Prime Minister Narendra Modi. His disagreement with the Modi government and BJP on several issues led to his resignation from the party in 2018. he later joined the TMC in 2021 and was appointed the party Vice-president.

Why presidential candidate Yashwant Sinha personifies the title of his biography—'Relentless' - India Today Insight News

Credits: India Today

10. Sinha, along with fellow BJP critics: former Union minister Arun Shourie and prominent lawyer Prashant Bhushan, filed a joint petition in the top court seeking a review of its clean chit to the Modi government in the Rafale case. However, the apex court dismissed all the review petitions.

References: Britannica, Hindustan Times

Featured Image Source: Hindustan Times

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