Yashwant Sinha has had quite a rollercoaster of a political career with nearly 40 years of experience, which has been marked with efficiency. He's been known to have associations with leaders of opposing ideologies till he finally settled with Trinamool Congress (TMC), right before he was chosen to be the Joint Opposition's presidential candidate, in a statement released on June 21, 2022.
Sinha's name came up in the spotlight after the Opposition's first preferences, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar, former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah, and the ex-Bengal governor and grandson of the Mahatma Gandhi, Gopalkrishna Gandhi, refused the proposal, as reported by Hindustan Times.
Switch From IAS To Politics
84-year-old Sinha was born in Patna, Bihar, on November 6, 1937. He joined the Indian Administrative Services (IAS) in 1960 till 1984, a 24-year tenure during which he held various vital positions in the service, like sub-divisional magistrate, deputy secretary to the Union Ministry of Commerce, and the first secretary at the Indian Consulate in Germany, as reported by India Today.
He then switched to politics in 1984, starting with being a member of the Janata Party (JP), whose leader Chandra Shekhar found Sinha extremely competent. Considered well-articulated and clear-minded, he also served as the principal secretary to Karpoori Thakur, the former Bihar Chief Minister, who was also a socialist during his tenure. He was then made general secretary, and the Rajya Sabha saw his debut in 1988, just four years after he joined politics.
Chandra Shekhar, along with other opposition leaders, formed the Janata Dal to defeat the Congress in the 1989 poll, and Sinha followed suit when Chandra Shekhar split the party to take on the VP Singh government, formed by the JP of the time. Janata Dal did form the government in 1990 under Chandra Shekhar and was supported by Congress. The national economy took a hit, and Sinha was made the Finance Minister of the government then.
That, however, didn't work out very well, and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) came up as the sole contender to the Congress. Sinha, who had a close association with LK Advani, joined the BJP in 1992.
Tenure As BJP Leader
The BJP made Sinha the national spokesperson in 1996, and was considered one of Advani's favourites. Vajpayee had wanted Sinha to be the Foreign Minister, but he was to be made the Finance Minister by Advani. Soon after the government's fall by a single vote, BJP formed the government and Sinha was made the Finance Minister till 2002. He was then made the External Affairs Minister, as reported by The Print.
During his tenure as the Finance Minister, the practice of presenting the budget at 5 p.m. was removed, and he has been praised for welcoming reforms and tax realisations during the Vajpayee government. That did leave him in a sore spot with the RSS-backed 'Swadeshi' economic thought and is seen to be one of the reasons that his ministry was changed.
The BJP-dominated National Democratic Alliance (NDA) lost in the 2004 Lok Sabha elections, and Sinha lost the seat in Hazaribagh too. He was made the BJP National Vice-President later, and in the 2009 elections, Sinha won the Hazaribagh seat, but the BJP, under LK Advani, lost to the Congress.
In 2013, he went up against then-President of BJP, Nitin Gadkari, who was about to get a second term, for alleged corruption charges. Gadkari had to quit, but Sinha, who Advani probably backed, continued to rise, even if his peers resented him over his incomplete dedication to the saffron flag. He soon resigned from the post of vice president too.
The BJP denied him a ticket to the Lok Sabha in 2014, choosing his son Jayant Sinha instead. That didn't vex him, though, but he left the BJP in 2018, claiming that the democracy of the country was in danger. Sinha was known for being quite critical of the Narendra Modi-led BJP in media over a variety of issues from policy to inefficiencies in politics.
Latest Political Stiint
After switching multiple parties already, Yashwant Sinha made the jump to TMC in early 2021. He was made the party's Vice President a few days later, too, with him having a solid backing from the Opposition already due to his anti-Modi stance. He recently resigned from all positions in the Trinamool Congress.