Yashwant Sinha

Former Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha speaks during a Panel Discussion and Interactive Session on "Union Budget 2018-19" in Kolkata Feb 6. (IANS photo)

KOLKATA — Former Union Minister Yashwant Sinha Feb. 6  categorically said he will not leave the Bharatiya Janata Party but said that if the party wanted to expel him because of his criticism, it could.

He also accused the Narendra Modi government of not fulfilling the promises it made ahead of the 2014 general elections.

"Why shall I leave BJP? What this party means to me, possibly does not mean to anyone. I have given my blood and sweat for this party. From 2004 to 2014, we were fighting against the then ruling party. 

"Then some others came. But now that they have come, they must deliver on the promises they made. And if they don't, I will raise those issues whether I'm with them or against them," he said.

Asked if his criticisms could result in the BJP government failing to return to power, Sinha said: "Governments are formed to fulfill the promises they made in the election manifesto. But if it is not happening, then it is also a responsibility to bring the party on the right track. 

"I'll not leave the party. Why don't you ask them why they aren't expelling me? If I am objecting, it is not that I am doing it now. I have been doing it for a while. Let them throw me out."

Sinha, who held the crucial Finance and External Affairs portfolios in Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee's cabinet between 1998 and 2004, said the Rashtra Manch (National Forum) platform he launched is not an organization but a movement to address the issues currently impacting the country.

"It is already pan-India since it saw participation of representatives from other political parties, farmers associations and many intellectuals from the country. We are creating ground for the movement and we have to reach the masses to inform them on the issues, so that improvements can be made," he said.

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