President’s election: Yashwant Sinha’s day out against Modi
By S Jha
New Delhi, June 21: Former Union Minister Yashwant Sinha is likely to be the joint nominee of the Opposition for the President’s election, which may set up a keen contest for the top Constitutional cost, besides bringing together the sparring constituents opposed to the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
The opposition parties will be holding a meeting on Tuesday while the BJP is slated to hold the party’s Parliamentary Board meeting to finalise the Presidential candidate.
Yashwant Sinha, IAS-turned-politician, has been a consistent Narendra Modi baiter. He was the member of the BJP’s Margdarshak mandal along with the party patriarch L K Advani. Subesequently, he quit the BJP to join the Trinamool Congress (TMC).
Sinha has quit the TMC as part of the pre-condition of the Opposition parties for being the joint candidate for the Presidential election.
The move has come in the backdrop of the Opposition’s first two choices, former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Farooq Abdullah and the former diplomat Raj Mohan Gandhi, declining the offer to contest the poll.
While Abdullah chose to stay away on the grounds that he still has politics left for him, Gandhi argued that a better candidate who can unite the Opposition should be the choice.
It may be stated that the vacuum in the Opposition space is so acute that an ex-BJP, who all his political career spent in the saffron outfit, may become their choice for the Presidential election.
This also reveals that the Congress has become too weak in the Opposition space that none from its ranks could be acceptable to the other non-BJP parties. That may not augur well for the Opposition, since minus Congress they will remain too weak to take on the BJP in true sense.
Sinha’s political outlook is essentially socialist, as he had spent his initial formative years in that camp. He was the minister in the Chandrashekhar government at the Centre, and is credited to have readied the economic blueprint to open the Indian economy to the world.
In the Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s Cabinet, Sinha is also credited for laying the foundation of the infrastructure turnaround of the country.
Having represented Hazaribagh Lok Sabha constituency in the Parliament, Sinha handed over the political legacy to his son Jayant Sinha.
While he may become an acceptable face for the Opposition in the Presidential election, Sinha has huge credibility issue in becoming the anti-BJP voice, for his grievance against Modi principally is that he was kept out of the government on the age criteria, which was endorsed by Arun Jaitely.