NEW DELHI: Veteran Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Yashwant Sinha Tuesday launched a new political platform - 'Rashtra Manch'- to start a movement against the policies of the Central government.
BJP MP Shatrughan Sinha along with Trinamool Congress MP Dinesh Trivedi, Congress MP Renuka Chowdhury, NCP MP Majeed Memon, Aam Aadmi Party MP Sanjay Singh, former Gujarat chief minister Suresh Mehta and JD(U) leader Pavan Varma were also present at the launch of the front.
Speaking at the event, Shatrughan Sinha said that he had joined the forum because he is not being given a chance to express his views in the party. However, he said that his support to Yashwant Sinha should not be seen as an anti-party activity as it was in national interest.
Emphasising the importance of the Rashtra Manch, Yashwant Sinha likened the present situation to that which prevailed 70 years ago when Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated. He stated that democracy and its institutions were under attack.
Hitting out at the Narendra Modi government, he said that the Centre had reduced farmers to "the status of beggars" and accused it of presenting "made to order" statistics to suit its interests.
The senior leader claimed that the 'Rashtra Manch' would be a non-party political action group, which will work to highlight national issues.
"It is not an organisation but a national movement," he said, hitting out at the government's economic and foreign policies.
"Everybody in the BJP is living in fear. We are not," he said.
Dialogue and debate in the country had become "course, one-sided and dangerous", he added.
"It seems mob has the job of giving justice," he claimed.
The first leg of the Budget Session of Parliament would effectively have only four working days, something that was unprecedented, he said.
Taking up farmers' issues would be the top priority of his organisation, said the 80-year-old leader, who had held the finance and external affairs portfolios in the first NDA government.