NEW DELHI: Former Union Minister Yashwant Sinha, a bitter critic of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has revealed that there no longer was any “harmony” between him and his son Jayant, a Minister in the Modi cabinet.
Without speaking out against Jayant, the senior Sinha, who helped his son inherit his political legacy, opened his heart out on their relationship and the divergent political paths they now follow.
“The father-son (relations) was there but that has now been disrupted. At this point of time, it’s that harmony which stands disrupted,” Yashwant told The Sunday Standard.While Yashwant has turned into one of the fiercest critics of Modi and left the Bharatiya Janata Party recently, Jayant continues to hold his position as the Union Minister of State for Civil Aviation in the Central Government.The senior Sinha had helped his son get a party ticket to contest the Lok Sabha elections from Hazaribagh in Jharkhand and had even campaigned for him.
Yashwant appeared to blame the BJP for the breakdown. In September last year when the former Finance and External Affairs Minister had firstly publicly hit out at Modi through an article in a national daily, Jayant wrote a counter article in another newspaper to rebut his father’s assertions.
“While I raised issues of national importance, which I will continue to do, the BJP fielded Jayant to counter me with clear aims to make it a father-son quarrel. I am not going to fall for it. I am not going to take it as a father-son issue,” Yashwant said.
When asked if his critique of the Modi government lacked credibility as Jayant continues to be a Minister in the Modi cabinet, Yashwant stressed that he and his son were two different individuals with minds of their own.“I have a mind of my own. He has a mind of his own. I am functioning according to my mind and he’s functioning, maybe, according to his mind,” Yashwant said.
Many believe that Yashwant’s appeal to BJP MPs, particularly party veterans LK Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi, to “speak up” against the Modi government was aimed at his son too.The former Minister, who was a prominent face of the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government, scoffed at the BJP’s apparent attempt to personalise the issues he has raised.“When (Finance Minister Arun) Jaitley said that I was a job applicant at 80, he wanted to trivialise the whole thing by making it personal,” he said.
“I refused to be drawn into a personal battle because I had raised an issue of national interest. I had said let the issue I have raised be answered instead of making it into a father-son conflict or Jaitley and me. I am not falling for this trap,” he added.
Political families in India are replete with instances of conflicting party affiliations. Yashwant cited the example of Gwalior’s Rajmata Vijayaraje Scindia and son Madhavrao, who were in the BJP and Congress respectively. Even now the family was divided, he said, alluding to Jyotiraditya Scindia and Vasundhara Raje.