Trinamool Congress (TMC) vice president Yashwant Sinha on Tuesday, 21 June, announced that he is stepping aside from the party for a "greater opposition unity," hinting that he may enter the race for the upcoming presidential polls.
He said in a tweet, "I am grateful to Mamataji for the honour and prestige she bestowed on me in TMC. Now a time has come when for a larger national cause I must step aside from the party to work for greater opposition unity. I am sure she approves of the step."
The former Union minister's announcement came amid speculation that his name will be pitched by TMC supremo and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee as the joint opposition candidate for the upcoming presidential elections.
Opposition leaders of 17 parties are set to hold a meeting at the Delhi residence of Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Sharad Pawar on Tuesday, to decide on a common candidate for the upcoming presidential election.
President Ram Nath Kovind's five-year term is coming to an end on 24 July. Voting for the next president will be held on 18 July, and the counting of votes will be held on 21 July, the Election Commission had earlier announced.
Former Union Minister, Yashwant Sinha had joined the TMC on 13 March last year and was made party vice president and a member of the party's national working committee.
Sinha had served as finance minister and external affairs minister under former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. He had joined the TMC just weeks before the Assembly polls in West Bengal.