New Delhi, Pretr. Former IAS officer Yashwant Sinha’s political career spanning nearly four decades is characterized by official efficiency, candor and close ties with top leaders. From socialist ideologue Chandrashekhar to BJP veteran LK Advani, he has been closely associated with. His stars rose when a new leadership emerged in the BJP in the last decade.

Former IAS officer left the Indian Administrative Service in 1984

However, his sharp criticism of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government in the media on several issues and his relentless efforts to mobilize anti-BJP forces has ensured the 80-year-old a place in the opposition camp. This is the reason that when his name came up for the presidential election as the joint candidate of the opposition, all the parties got ready without wasting any time. Sinha, who served as finance minister in the Chandrashekhar government and the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government, has always been a taboo breaker.

He boycotted the swearing-in ceremony of the VP Singh government in 1989 and then became vocal over allegations of alleged corruption against then BJP president Nitin Gadkari in 2013, when the Maharashtra leader was set to get a second term. Due to his pressure, Gadkari was forced to step down. Many believed that he had the blessings of Advani for this campaign. However, after that he was pushed to the margins of the party.

Most of the party cadre leaders maintained that their attitude was not in consonance with the policies of the party. The BJP refused him a Lok Sabha ticket in 2014. Instead, the party fielded his son Jayant Sinha. Jayant won the election and was also made a minister. Yashwant quit the BJP in 2018 alleging that democracy was in danger. He joined Trinamool Congress in 2021.

Born in Bihar and a Bihar-cadre IAS officer, Yashwant had also served as the Principal Secretary to the then Chief Minister of Bihar, Karpoori Thakur, who was also a socialist stalwart. He left the administrative service in 1984 after 24 years and joined the Janata Party. Party leader Chandrashekhar liked him. Sinha was soon assigned the key post of general secretary and made his debut in the Rajya Sabha in 1988.

Yashwant has seen many ups and downs in political life of four decades

Various opposition leaders, including Chandrashekhar, joined hands to form the Janata Dal to take on the Congress in the 1989 election. After this, when it was time to topple VP Singh’s government, he stayed with his guru Chandrashekhar. He got an opportunity to handle the finance ministry in the Chandrashekhar government. But this period did not last long. He joined the party under Advani’s influence after Chandrashekhar’s government fell and the BJP rapidly emerged as an alternative to the Congress.

He was given several major responsibilities. He became the Leader of the Opposition in Bihar. After this, he became the Finance Minister in the Vajpayee government formed in 1998 and remained in this post till 2002. After that he became the foreign minister. The colonial practice of presenting the Union Budget at 5 pm was brought to an end during his tenure as Finance Minister.

Edited By: Arun Kumar Singh