NEW DELHI: Just days before Finance Minister Arun Jaitley is set to stand up in Parliament to deliver the Union Budget 2018, his predecessor and senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha seems set to fire a salvo against the Narendra Modi government. Sinha, who has become an open critic of his own party's government, is set to launch an organisation called National Forum.
National Forum is seemingly aimed at bringing discordant voices from across the political spectrum to a common platform to discuss a wide range of issues.
Reports indicate Sinha will be joined by disgruntled BJP MP Shatrughan Sinha, TMC's Dinesh Trivedi, AAP's Ashutosh, SP's Ghanshyam Tiwari, JDU's Pawan Verma and NCP's Majid Memon. The outfit also features Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari.
The new outfit will reportedly not ask any of these leaders to make any changes to their relationships with their respective political parties, reducing the possibility of an immediate electoral plunge.
"This is to inform that in view of the grave social, economic and constitutional crises facing the nation, a group of leaders from diverse fields are coming together to launch the Rashtra Manch | National Forum, a pan-India movement," read an announcement posted on the yet-to-be launched organisation's Twitter handle.
— NationalForum (@RashtraManch) January 29, 2018
In perhaps a bid to make a statement, the launch of the organisation is timed for the anniversary of the assassination of MK Gandhi, and would begin with this group of leaders paying their respects at Rajghat.
Sinha tweeted, "Mahatma said, 'Democracy is not a state in which people act like sheep.' Arise and awaken! Calling the People to join the movement."
— Yashwant Sinha (@YashwantSinha) January 29, 2018
Sinha, a former Finance Minister and External Affairs Minister in the Vajpayee cabinet, has turned out to be a strong critic of the Narendra Modi government. In September last year, he had levelled a scathing appraisal of the economic direction of the Centre, sparking a war of words. The BJP had deployed Jayant Sinha, Yashwant's son and the Minister of State for Finance, to counter his father.