Yashwant Sinha President: Former IAS Officer turned BJP MP is Opposition's Presidential Candidate

Presidential Election 2022 Candidates: Yashwant Sinha's name was finalised as the common opposition candidate for the upcoming Presidential Elections 2022 after two rounds of deliberations and informal meetings. 

Updated: Jun 22, 2022 12:11 IST
Yashwant Sinha named Opposition's Candidate
Yashwant Sinha named Opposition's Candidate

Presidential Election 2022 Candidates: Yashwant Sinha was named as the joint Presidential Candidate of the UPA and other opposition on June 21, 2022. Sinha was a senior leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party but left the party in April 2018 and joined the Trinamool Congress. 

The ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA) announced Draupadi Murmu's name as their Presidential candidate on the same day. The Indian Presidential Elections are scheduled to be held on July 18. The President is elected by the electoral college comprising elected members of both houses of the parliament and the elected members of the Legislative assemblies of the states and Union Territories.

Congress's communication Chief Jairam Ramesh read out a joint statement from the opposition saying, “Ideally, a consensus candidate of the government and the Opposition should be elected for the highest office of the Republic. However, the initiative for this should have been taken by the government. We regret the fact that the Modi government made no serious efforts in this direction. We, therefore, appeal to all political parties to support the candidature of Mr. Sinha so that the nation can have a worthy Rashtrapati elected unopposed.”

Presidential Election 2022 Candidates: How was Yashwant Sinha chosen as the Opposition Candidate?

Yashwant Sinha's name was finalised as the common opposition candidate for the upcoming Presidential Elections 2022 after two rounds of deliberations and informal meetings. As per media reports, the 84-year-old Yashwant Sinha was chosen after NCP Chief Sharad Pawar, former J&K Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah and former WB Governor Gopalkrishna Gandhi refused to contest in the elections.

Only Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao and Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal had not attended the deliberations. However, as per the Congress communications chief, he has spoken to both the leaders and can count on their support for Yashwant Sinha's candidature. 

Does the opposition have the numbers

As of now, NDA has a clear advantage over the UPA in terms of numbers. In fact, even in terms of the candidature, the NDA has an upper hand as their candidate Draupadi Murmu would be India's first tribal President, which would garner support from even those parties that are on the fence like the BJP etc. 

The opposition though hopes to get support from Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s Janata Dal (United) to make the battle slightly more close. The JD(U) and the BJP have been at loggerheads recently over the government’s new military recruitment scheme Agnipath.

Nitish Kumar is known to have always voted outside his alliance in the Presidential elections. He had voted in favour of the UPA nominee Pranab Mukherjee in 2012 when he was a part of the NDA alliance. In 2017 when he was a part of the mahagatbandhan in Bihar with the RJD, he had voted for the NDA nominee Ram Nath Kovind. However, he walked out of the grand alliance and returned to NDA weeks after Ram Nath Kovind was elected the new President. 

Yashwant Sinha President Candidate: Lesser Known Facts

  • Yashwant Sinha an IAS officer before he resigned the service to join the Janata Party. He had joined IAS in 1960 and spent 24 years holding significant posts. 
  • He resigned from the service in 1984 to join politics. He joined the Janata Party and was appointed All-India General secretary of the party in 1986.
  • He was elected as a Member of the Rajya Sabha, Parliament's upper house in 1988. 
  • He later served as the Finance Minister under Chandra Shekhar's government from November 1990 to June 1991.
  • He was appointed as the National Spokesperson of the Bharatiya Janata Party in June 1996. 
  • He was elected to the Lok Sabha on BJP ticket from Hazaribagh constituency in 1998, 1999, and 2009. 
  • He was later appointed as the Union Finance Minister in March 1998 under Atal Bihari Vajpayee's government.
  • He was later appointed as Minister for External Affairs in July 2002. 
  • He lost from Hazaribagh constituency in the 2004 Lok Sabha Elections against Prashant Sahay, grandson of K B Sahay. He re-entered the Parliament in 2005. 
  • He resigned from the post of vice-president of BJP in June 2009. 
  • He quit the BJP citing the "party's condition" and that "democracy in India is in great danger" in 2018. 
  • He joined the Trinamool Congress in March 2021 to fight against BJP just before the 2021 West Bengal Assembly Election. 
  • He was appointed as the vice president of the Mamata Banerjee-led party in March 2021.

How is the President elected in India?

The President of India is indirectly elected by an electoral college comprising elected members of both houses of parliament and the elected members of the Legislative assemblies of the 28 states and the elected members of the legislative assemblies of the Union Territories of New Delhi, Puducherry and Jammu and Kashmir. The electoral college comprises 776 MPs and 4,120 MLAs, as of 2021. 

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