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Former Union minister Yashwant Sinha joins TMC

‘Strength of democracy lies in the strength of institutions of democracy. All these have become weak now’

Former Union minister Yashwant Sinha joins TMC
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Kolkata: Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home minister Amit Shah have taken control over all the institutions in the country, including the Judiciary and the Election Commission of India and will try to take control over Bengal by any means, alleged Yashwant Sinha, former Union Finance minister and a bitter critic of the Prime Minister, after joining the Trinamool Congress on Saturday afternoon.

Talking to the press at the party office, he maintained that he felt the need to join TMC following a 45-minute talk with Mamata Banerjee in which the attack on her at Nandigram also came up for discussion. "BJP can do anything and everything to take control of this state. They can beat up Mamataji, immobilise her and even kill her to satisfy their need. I have taken retirement from active politics but after speaking to her, I thought I should be by her side during the course of this mega election as it is a very significant one for Bengal vis-à-vis India. I am sure Mamataji will come to power with a thumping majority and this will give a clear message to Modi and Shah that they are no longer liked by the people of India."

Right after his joining, he added: "The country is facing an unprecedented situation today. The strength of democracy lies in the strength of the institutions of democracy. All these institutions, including the Judiciary, have become weak now."

Raising questions about the "integrity and impartiality" of the ECI, the former bureaucrat said: "The eight-phase election will be held for the advantage of BJP," he said and added: "The ECI has no power to change senior bureaucrats and police officers who are not directly involved in the election. The District Magistrate is the district election officer and he is the key man in conducting polls."

Recalling an incident related to the transfer of the Chief Secretary and Director General of Police in Bihar before the Assembly elections in 1980, he said: "The ECI had raised objection to their transfer before the polls and wanted an explanation from the Bihar government. The government replied that as the CS and DG are not involved in the elections directly, the ECI had no business to intervene. On getting the letter, the ECI had dropped the matter."

Coming down heavily on the BJP, he said: "The BJP of Atalji and the present party are two different entities. While the former had believed in consensus, the latter believes in crushing. Atalji was successful in setting up a national coalition while most of the partners have deserted Modi and Shah."

Trinamool veterans Subrata Mukherjee, Sudip Bandyopadhyay and Derek O'Brien handed over the party flag to him and welcomed him to the TMC family.

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