Yashwant Sinha quits Trinamool ahead of Opposition meet on presidential candidate, says stepping aside for a ‘larger cause’

“I am grateful to Mamataji for the honour and prestige she bestowed on me in the 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,” Sinha wrote on Twitter.

Yashwant Sinha quits TMC ahead of the opposition meeting on Presidential candidate. (PTI Photo)

Trinamool Congress leader and former Union minister Yashwant Sinha on Tuesday announced that he is stepping aside from the party to work for the larger national cause of greater Opposition unity. Sinha’s statement on Twitter came just ahead of another meeting of Opposition leaders to decide on a unanimous presidential candidates. The statement also comes amid speculation that his name will be proposed as the joint candidate of the Opposition for the July 18 polls.

“I am grateful to Mamataji for the honour and prestige she bestowed on me in the 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,” Sinha wrote on Twitter.

Opposition leaders from 17 parties have come together once again to decide on a consensus candidate at NCP supremo Sharad Pawar’s residence in Mumbai. According to many reports, TMC Lok Sabha MP Abhishek Banerjee, who will be attending in place of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, is likely to propose Sinha’s name for the presidential race. Sinha was also the former Finance and External Affairs Minister under the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government. In 2018, he quit BJP, saying that “democracy in India is in great danger.”

Last week, after the Opposition leaders unanimously named Pawar for the President Elections, the NCP chief ruled himself out of the race, even after many leaders asked him to reconsider his decision. Banerjee had also proposed the names of National Conference chief Farooq Abdullah and Mahatma Gandhi’s grandson Gopalkrishna Gandhi as the alternative picks.

However, on Saturday, Abdullah ruled himself out of the race, while saying that he has “lot more active politics” in him. While withdrawing his name from the race, the former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister said, “I am deeply touched by the support that I’ve received and honoured to have been considered for the highest office in the country. I believe that Jammu and Kashmir is passing through a critical juncture and my efforts are required to help navigate these uncertain times.”

Gandhi also declined the offer, saying that he believed that there were far better candidates than him. The President elections are scheduled to be held on July 18, 2022 and counting of votes will take place on July 21, 2022. The tenure of President Ram Nath Kovind expires on July 24.

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