Yash­want launches group to high­light govt ‘short­com­ings’

Hindustan Times (Gurgaon) - - Nation - HT Cor­re­spon­dent let­ters@hin­dus­tan­times.com

NEW DELHI: About half a dozen op­po­si­tion lead­ers and a dis­grun­tled BJP MP on Tuesday joined the launch of for­mer fi­nance min­is­ter Yash­want Sinha’s Rash­tra Manch — a group that plans to cam­paign against the eco­nomic and for­eign poli­cies of the Naren­dra Modi govern­ment.

MPs Sha­trughan Sinha (BJP), Di­nesh Trivedi (TMC), Renuka Chowd­hury (Congress), Ma­jeed Me­mon (NCP), San­jay Singh (AAP), party lead­ers Ashutosh (AAP), Pa­van Varma (JD-U), Jayant Chaudhary (RLD), for­mer Gu­jarat CM Suresh Mehta and for­mer Union min­is­ters Som Pal and Har­mo­han Dhawan were prom­i­nent among those present.

Sha­trughan, Lok Sabha MP from Bi­har, said he did not get fo­rum in BJP to ex­press his views but in­sisted his back­ing to the front was in “na­tional in­ter­est” and not an anti-party ac­tiv­ity. Sinha said the front will not be­come a po­lit­i­cal party and merely aims at high­light­ing crit­i­cal na­tional is­sues. “Ev­ery­body in the BJP is liv­ing in fear. We are not,” he said at the event.

A state­ment is­sued read, “Fear rules the roost and mem­bers of the rul­ing dis­pen­sa­tion are its worst vic­tims. We live in an age in which facts can be man­u­fac­tured and sta­tis­tics made to or­der. The mi­asma of un­truth has be­come so per­va­sive that ut­ter­ing truth sounds like blas­phemy. Pro­pa­ganda has re­placed per­for­mance as yard­stick of suc­cess.”

The state­ment stopped short of nam­ing PM Naren­dra Modi but blamed “im­promptu and im­petu­ous pol­i­cy­mak­ing” for ru­ral dis­tress and “farm­ers com­mit­ting sui­cides in larger num­bers than ever be­fore”.

Yash­want Sinha

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