‘Breaks My Heart to See Centre Politicise COVID’: Yashwant Sinha
Yashwant Sinha calls the Modi government the most inefficient one in the history of independent India.
(This interview was first published on 29 May, 2020 and has been republished in the backdrop of former BJP leader and union minister Yashwant Sinha joining the TMC on 13 March, 2021. )
In an exclusive interview with The Quint, former Union Minister of Finance and External Affairs Yashwant Sinha lashed out at the central government, saying it upset him to see them play politics with the non-Bharatiya Janata Party states during the coronavirus crisis.
Sinha also called the Modi government the most inefficient one in the history of independent India, adding that the Rs 20 lakh crore relief package introduced by the Centre is fraudulent.
On the COVID-19 Crisis in Gujarat
Yashwant Sinha has alleged that the 'Namaste Trump' event held in Ahmedabad in February is the cause of the outbreak of COVID-19 in Gujarat. Around 27,000 people from different countries had attended the event in February.
He had also tweeted about the same.
According to Sinha, after the event, nobody home quarantined themselves, nor did anyone take precautions or follow social distancing. And that is the reason why Gujarat is among the top five coronavirus-infected states of the country now. The media has not emphasised this point at all, he added.
According to the government figures, as of 28 May, there are 15,195 active cases of COVID-19 in Gujarat, and 938 people have died.
‘Government Ignored Migrant Workers’
The ghar wapsi of migrant workers is a big crisis in the country now. When asked about the government’s role in it, Sinha said:
“The Indian government did not predict the return of migrant labourers post-lockdown. It slept on this issue. Running of special ‘shramik’ trains for migrant workers has proved ineffective in many cases. Lockdown has been violated, social distancing has not been followed.”Yashwant Sinha, Former Union Finance & External Affairs Minister
‘Breaks My Heart to See the Govt Politicise a Pandemic’
A former senior leader in the BJP, Yashwant Sinha trained guns at the PM Modi-led NDA government at the Centre for politicising a pandemic.
“The economic condition of the states is anyway poor. Expecting them to even bear the cost of migrant workers is completely meaningless. The BJP government at the Centre has been playing politics with non-BJP states like Jharkhand, West Bengal and Maharashtra from the very beginning. It breaks my heart to see the central government politicising a pandemic.”Yashwant Sinha, Former Union Finance & External Affairs Minister
‘Rs 20 Lakh Crore Relief Package a Fraud’
When asked about the Rs 20 lakh crore economic package that was announced by PM Modi, Yashwant Sinha said:
“Several experts and institutions abroad and in the country have said that out of the Rs 20 lakh crore, Rs 19 lakh crore is loan. Clearly, the people of the country are being tricked in the name of this relief package. It is clearly a fraud.”Yashwant Sinha, Former Union Finance & External Affairs Minister
The ‘Yashwant Formula’ on Lockdown
So how does the former Union minister think India should deal with the problems of the economy and the migrant workers’ crisis during the lockdown?
Here are the steps Sinha thinks the Centre should take:
- Hold discussions with state governments
- Constant communication with Opposition parties
- Try to resolve the migrant crisis
- Fix the 'Fraud Package' given in the name of relief
- Work on national highways
- Ensure migrant labourers find work while maintaining social distancing
- Build roads, expand railways
- Build houses
‘Govt Wants to Hide the Truth About China’
The tensions between Indian and Chinese forces have been high ever since personnel from the two sides clashed along the northern bank of the Pangong Tso in Ladakh on 5 May. When asked about the Indo-China standoff, the former external affairs minister said:
“China has always been an aggressor and that won’t change no matter what. China did not return to its old position even after the Doklam standoff. We talk about ‘New India’ but hide the real issues from the public.”Yashwant Sinha, Former Union Finance & External Affairs Minister
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