Yashwant Sinha takes Modi to task, criticises government’s failed policies

In a damning indictment of Modinomics and the present government’s modus operandi, former Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha, a stalwart of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), has penned a scathing, wide-ranging editorial seemingly addresed to current BJP members of Parliament (MPs). In the editorial that appeared in The Indian Express, Sinha systematically outlines the various failings of the current central government and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, painting a picture of the government as “helpless,” and seemingly out of time.  

Yashwant Sinha

Sinha recalls the optimism with which he and others worked for the BJP’s 2014 Lok Sabha victory, saying that after nearly four years in office and five budgets having been presented, Sinha says, “…we seem to have lost our way and the confidence of the voters.” 

In his frank letter, he roundly criticises the government’s seemingly toothless foreign policy, saying “The sum total of our foreign policy seems to consist of frequent foreign visits by the prime minister and his hugging foreign dignitaries, whether they like it or not. It is completely devoid of substance and has failed miserably even in our immediate neighbourhood, where China is trampling all over our interests.” 
He also calls out the government’s failing economic policies, and what can be construed as its indifference to crimes committed against women, minorities, and marginalised sections of society.

Sinha who has considerable experience steering India’s economy, underscores the “grim” economic condition of the country, “despite tall claims to the contrary by the government that we are the world’s fastest growing economy.” As Sinha says, “A fast growing economy does not accumulate the kind of non-performing assets in its banks, as we have done over the last four years. In a fast growing economy the farmers are not in distress, the youth are not without jobs, small businesses do not stand destroyed and savings and investment do not fall as drastically as they have done over the last four years. What is worse, corruption has raised its ugly head again and banking scams are tumbling out of the closet one after another. The scamsters also manage to run away from the country somehow, as the government watches helplessly.” 

Sinha further rakes the Modi government over the coals for failing to ensure a safe environment for women in the country. He writes, “Women are more unsafe today than ever before. Rapes have become the order of the day and instead of acting strictly against the rapists we have become their apologists. In many cases, our own people are involved in these heinous crimes.” He also laments the situations of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, who he says “have been exposed to atrocities and inequities as never before,” with constitutional guarantees given to them under threat.

Sinha pulls no punches when he criticises the inner workings of the BJP, saying “MPs do not get an opportunity, as in the past, to air their views. In the other party meetings, also, the communication is always one-way. They speak and you listen. The prime minister has no time for you. The party headquarter has become a corporate office where it is impossible to meet the CEO.” 

Significantly, Sinha highlights the threat to democracy as the “most important” one that “has emerged over the last four years,” saying that democratic institutions “have been demeaned and denigrated,” adding that Parliament “has been reduced to the level of a joke.” He criticises Modi for not bothering to discuss the disrupted Budget Session with Opposition leaders, saying that Modi then “fasted to shift the blame to others.” In contrast, Sinha says, during Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s tenure, they were “under strict instructions to accommodate the Opposition and ensure that Parliament functioned.” 


Sinha also recalls January’s press conference by four senior Supreme Court justices, calling it “unprecedented” and indicative of “the rot that has been allowed to afflict the highest judicial institution of our country.” Even the judges have repeatedly noted that democracy is being threatened, Sinha notes.

Sinha says that it seems as though party’s only objective has become “winning elections by controlling the means of communication, specially the media and social media”. In a dire prediction, he says that “previous experience” indicates that half the current BJP MPs will not get the ticket for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections in 2019, noting that in 2014, 69% “polled against” the BJP. “So, if the opposition unites, you will be nowhere,” Sinha notes, darkly.

Sinha urges other BJP MPs to follow the lead of the Scheduled Caste MPs who have spoken about their disappointment with the government for failing to come through on its pledges to their community. He reminds them of the fact that the interests of country take precedence over the party, just as the party takes precedence over the individual.



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