Former finance minister and senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha speaks about his stance towards the government and Manmohan Singh’s role in gold mortgage to The New Indian Express Editorial Director Prabhu Chawla during Teekhi Baat on IBN7. Excerpts:
You oppose the government on issues the most in Parliament.
Thank you very much.
It seems BJP leaders want the government to be, and you don’t.
I think that the government should go. But when there are discussions on Land Acquisition Bill, Food Security Bill, how can one speak on these issues.
Do you have a personal agenda?
I never had any personal agenda. Some people want to spread this rumour, and this has not happened for the first time. When we had opposed the Indo-US nuclear deal, at that time too the same allegations were levelled against me.
You oppose the Food Bill, then it is passed.
The message that went across the country was that we wanted a Food Bill, which is better than the existing one and our state governments are running better food security than this.
Why didn’t you oppose, vote against it?
Nothing would have happened with us voting against it, the Bill would have been still passed.
You can stand in Parliament and give suggestions (on India’s financial situation).
I will not give suggestions in Parliament because I don’t want to give suggestions to people who would not accept my suggestions.
But that’s how your credibility will be built.
Our credibility is there. If you are talking to me, it is an example of credibility. If the government wants my suggestion, the government will talk to me, talk to BJP. I was Finance Minister even in 1991. After that Narsimha Raoji’s government came to power, the first thing that he did in PMO was to call leaders from all parties, and I represented my party , and we thought and spoke there, and gave suggestions.
When you took over as finance minister in 1990, then the condition was worse than what today. You had flown gold abroad.
No, our government had lost power; elections were announced in the country, after that the new government came, which had done this. Manmohan Singh, was the financial advisor to the government then, in 1991, 20 tonnes of gold was mortgaged abroad, that gold was smuggled gold which was seized by customs. That seized gold is deposited with the State Bank which sells it in the country, but we mortgaged it, and they said when we get the money, we will get it back. But they forget one thing, when our government lost power and Manmohan Singhiji became finance minister, he mortgaged 44 tonnes gold of Reserve Bank of India.
He again mortgaged it..
Yes sir. For 20 tonnes, you said that you have done it. But Manmohan Singh mortgaged 44 tonnes of RBI’s gold that the nation has forgotten about.
Nobody knows about this.
Nobody knows about it because nobody took interest.