Demonetisation & electoral bonds examples of how BJP cloaks their corrupt actions: Yashwant Sinha

06:34 PM Apr 11, 2024 | PTI |

Claiming that electoral bonds are a huge “scandal” and demonetisation was a way to turn black money into “white”, former finance minister Yashwant Sinha alleged that the BJP government puts a “cloak of secrecy over their corrupt actions” and hope that people never find out about them.


In an interview to PTI Videos, Sinha dismissed BJP’s claims of getting more than 400 seats in the Lok Sabha elections, and said the strength of the opposition I.N.D.I.A. bloc is being underestimated.

Sinha, 86, said he has retired from politics and is not planning a return, even as several people from his former constituency Hazaribagh urged him to fight the election this time.

Sinha, a former BJP leader who quit the party in 2018 alleging that the NDA government at the Centre was undermining democratic institutions, has remained critical of the government.

In a post on X on Wednesday, he had said, ‘This govt is honest only for as long as it is in power. The moment it goes out of power the people of India will realise that it was the most corrupt government ever.’


Sinha said demonetisation and electoral bonds as two examples of this.

Asked about his post, he said, “I did it after considerable deliberation within myself. And I realised that they have gotten away with the acts of corruption, which have not been allowed to be brought into the public domain, because of the reason that you know – Godi media.”

“Nobody seems to be bothered about this. I mentioned demonetisation of 2016. Now we are aware of the fact that almost 100 per cent of the money after demonetisation came back to the banks. And I’m not aware of a single case, a single person, a single entity which has been prosecuted for possessing black money,” he said.

“So there’s been no case of black money. The entire black money has become white because it has come into the banking system. So I personally would think that demonetisation was a huge exercise in making black money white and the corruption that is involved in this.”

On electoral bonds, he said, “The details are just coming out in bits and pieces. But why (should someone) believe me? The husband of the finance minister of India has said that this is the biggest exercise of corruption in the whole world. This is the biggest scandal. And as bits and pieces come out one realises how the system was misused in order to collect black money from various entities, largely for the ruling party.”

“So the policy of the government has been what? The policy of the government has been to put the cloak of secrecy over their corrupt actions and hope that people will never get to know,” Sinha alleged.

Asked about the BJP’s (and its allies) claim of winning more than 400 seats in Lok Sabha, Sinha took a jibe at the ruling party and said, “They have been very, very considerate and moderate in their claims. They could have easily claimed that they will win 550 seats, seven seats from Pak-occupied Kashmir or whatever is that number, and the rest in the rest of the country.”

“There is no end to making such claims. I’d only like to remind you that whenever elections have taken place, I remember in my state of Jharkhand, the claim was, ‘Ab ki Baar 65 paar’ – 65 in a House of 81 or 82.

“How much did they get? 25. So, you apply the same arithmetic, and BJP does not cross 200 in this Lok Sabha election,” he said.

Sinha also said that the I.N.D.I.A. bloc is being underestimated and that opposition parties, including the Congress, will improve its tally in the polls.

‘It (I.N.D.I.A. bloc) consists of a large number of regional parties that are very strong in their own states, and they will do much better. The Congress party will also do much better than they did in the last election. So, they are giving the ruling party a run for their money,’ he said.

On Nitish Kumar and his party JD(U)’s switch to the NDA, Sinha said the Bihar chief minister has lost his credibility.

“He is already known as a ‘palturam’ (for frequently changing his alliances), and he has lost his credibility now completely. BJP has lost its credibility, and the results of this Lok Sabha election will show that people were not at all impressed by the crossover that Nitish Kumar has done.”

Sinha said did not want to return to active politics due to his health. “There was a lot of pressure on me this time from the people in my former constituency, Hazaribagh, to contest the elections. They said, ‘I’ll win, hands down, sitting at home.”

“But I did not take the bait, because I knew that despite their assurances, I’ll still have to work hard and my health will not permit me to undertake such hard work of contesting a Lok Sabha election. So, I am now leading a largely retired life,” he said.

Sinha represented Hazaribagh constituency in Lok Sabha between 1998-99 and 2009-2014. In the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, his son Jayant Sinha, who still continues to be in the BJP, fought and won from the seat. He was reelected from Hazaribagh in 2019.

This time, Hazaribagh Sadar MLA Manish Jaiswal was picked by the party to contest the Lok Sabha elections.


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