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'Democracy Under Threat', Yashwant Sinha 'Overcomes Fear' to Launch National Forum

Yashwant Sinha said his 'Rashtra Manch', a political action group, would start a movement against the policies of the Central government.

Updated:January 30, 2018, 6:27 PM IST
'Democracy Under Threat', Yashwant Sinha 'Overcomes Fear' to Launch National Forum
File photo of former Union Minister Yashwant Sinha. (Reuters)
New Delhi: Volunteers all around him donned the inverted boat-shaped Gandhi cap. Others showed remarkable vigour in waving the national flag as Yashwant Sinha, accompanied by BJP MP Shatrughan Sinha, took a seat.

“This is a moment of crisis. Democracy and democratic institutions are under threat,” the former finance minister-turned-critic of the Modi government.

Sitting beside Sinha on the podium were a motley group of leaders from opposition parties - some small, some big, some trying to find their feet and some seeking to re-invent themselves after being pulversied in the Modi wave in 2014 and thereafter.

The venue was the Constitution Club of India - a stone’s throw away from the Parliament House, where the incumbent finance minister Arun Jatiley would read out his budget speech later this week.

With Sinha on the podium was Kakka ji, the former RSS leader from Madhya Pradesh who led the agrarian movement against the BJP government last year. Also rubbing shoulders were representatives from mainstream political parties.

Sharad Pawar’s NCP had sent in a representative. Ashutosh and Sanjay Singh from Aam Aadmi Party were in attendance. So was Dinesh Trivedi from the Trinamool Congress. Also present were Uday Narain Choudhary (former Bihar speaker and JD(U) leader), Ghanshyam Tiwari from SP and RLD leader Jayant Chowdhary.

“Me and Shatrughan Singh, we have overcome our fears,” said Sinha as he laid the foundation of National Forum or Rashtra Manch.

National Forum, Sinha announced, would be a conglomerate of likeminded people, institutions and parties that will aim to protect, preserve and safeguard the institutions of democracy in India and ensure the complete security of farmers’ income.

It was a moment reminiscent of the way Anna Hazare tried to build his campaign which challenged the UPA government at the Centre. The harvest then was reaped by the BJP at that time, then the main opposition party.

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| Edited by: Huma Tabassum
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