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Yashwant Sinha announces his front will contest Bihar Assembly poll

A file photo of former Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha.

A file photo of former Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha.   | Photo Credit: PTI

Former Union Finance and External Affairs Minister Yashwant Sinha on Saturday announced that his upcoming political front would be contesting the Bihar Assembly election “strongly for a better Bihar”.

“We want to become an epicentre of power in Bihar and future will decide whether we’ll be a third front or first front but we’ll strongly contest the upcoming Assembly elections in the State”, Mr. Sinha said, while addressing media persons at a hotel in Patna.

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Former MPs Arun Kumar, Devendra Yadav and former Bihar Ministers and leaders such as Nagmani, Narendra Singh and Renu Kushwaha, along with others, were present with Mr. Sinha.

“At present, we all are here but many more leaders are in touch and will come with us with a ‘Better Bihar’ motto”, Mr. Sinha added, while promising that he would meet media persons every week with a fact-sheet of the present government.

He also cited figures to show how Bihar had been lagging in sectors such as health, education, industry, per capital income, road and farmers’ economic condition. “Corruption has also been a major issue in this regime in Bihar...without bribe, no work happens here”, he alleged.

“We all will work for a better Bihar, badlo (lets change) Bihar and, for this, the present government has to be removed”, he asserted, while adding, “How will better Bihar be formed? We’ll prepare the draft and present before you all (media persons) in coming days”.

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Mr. Sinha also slammed the government over “virtual campaigning” and said it was “cheating and nothing else”.

“How could one verify the fact how many people one has addressed...only rich parties will be benefited through this”, he added, while appealing to the Election Commission not to “allow virtual campaign but traditional campaign will do”.

While expressing wonder, he further said, “While 21 districts of Bihar are threatened with flood and the government will drop food-packets and distribute relief materials to the distressed people, on the other hand, the government is talking about virtual campaigning and digital rallies”.

“The EC has to take a decision on holding the poll”, he added.

Mr. Sinha also made it clear that “whoever wants to come along with them they’re welcome but not with a condition”. “Our motto is to establish Bihar pride”, he asserted.

Assembly elections in Bihar for a total of 243 seats are to be held in October-November later this year.

Mr. Sinha, who was earlier BJP MP from Hazaribagh Lok Sabha constituency in neighbouring Jharkhand State, had later announced his retirement from active politics. He has also spent a long time in Bihar for his education.

All-party meeting

Meanwhile, ruling party JD(U), in an all-party meeting convened by Bihar Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) H.R. Srinivasa on Friday, advocated for a “single-phase” Assembly poll in the State.

“A single-phase election would ease the pressure on candidates in the fray”, said senior JD(U) leader and party MP from Munger Rajiv Ranjan Singh alias Lalan Singh. Mr. Singh also suggested that the “use of digital platforms will enable leaders to maintain SOP (standard operation procedure) issued in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic”.

However, the Opposition Rashtriya Janata Dal opposed the concept of a “virtual rally”. “This is a conspiracy by the ruling alliance to keep leaders of Opposition parties cut-off from their voters...the Bihar poll is a fight between the rich and the poor”, said State RJD president Jagdanand Singh.

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Printable version | Aug 9, 2020 9:16:02 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/ex-union-minister-yashwant-sinha-likely-to-form-front-in-bihar/article31930621.ece

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