Yashwant Sinha found encouragement from many Opposition figures and his Manch may serve as a platform against the BJP.
Former finance minister Yashwant Sinha’s rebellion against the top BJP leadership, out in the open for some time now, has coalesced into a movement he calls the “Rashtra Manch”. With Shatrughan Sinha for company, the bureaucrat-turned-politician has launched a platform that he believes will allow the airing of diverse views on vital national issues. Projecting themselves as “fearless” rebels, the stalwarts hope to present an apolitical forum to discuss democracy, farmers’ issues, the economy, etc. But it’s debatable if the rebellion would mean much in a political sense as both leaders have little popular support, particularly in an electoral sense. Their relevance may lie more in their stressing the need for a public debate on what’s happening around the country. Yashwant Sinha found encouragement from many Opposition figures and his Manch may serve as a platform against the BJP.
The larger issue Yashwant was fighting for before throwing in his lot with forces aligned against the ruling party was about inner-party democracy. Truth to tell, those freedoms have been anathema to both the Congress and the BJP. The scene is similar in many other parties that have grown on foundations laid around the charisma of families or individuals. Over time, all parties support only the pliant, fawning kind of leaders even in the second rung. While there may be some opportunity to air views in party forums, the significance of an apolitical forum outside a party structure is difficult to gauge, specially as BJP MP Shatrughan seems to think it can coexist with the BJP. What Yashwant has to say on what is taking place today may, however, be more important than the forum he has launched.