Dharmendra Singh Bhadoriya spoke to 81-year-old Yashwant Sinha on a wide range of issues
What will be your role in the 2019 elections?
I will not contest. I will not canvass for any party. I will definitely speak on issues, whether they are in the favour of the current government or not.
What made you change your mind about the Modi government?
Many wrong things are happening. I have raised my voice against them.
Dr. Manmohan Singh has written a letter to the President showing concern over the language used by the Prime Minister during the Karnataka election campaign. What is your view on this?
Our tongues slip. It happens with everyone but it should not happen to a Prime Minister. The conversation should be civil and based on concrete facts and truth.
When Arun Jaitley had called you a ‘job applicant at 80 years’, you didn’t take that kindly…
No, I had commented on the economic condition of the country in an article. It caused a stir. The next day, my son also published an article. They tried to make it look like as if there was a dispute between me and my son.
What will you do if your son Jayant contests from Hazaribagh as a BJP candidate?
We will see. There is still a year to go for the elections. But one thing is clear – that I am not in the Bharatiya Janta Party. So how can I ask for votes for that party? Just wait for some more time. It will become clear what our stand and the government’s stand will be
It is being said that you and Arun Shourie criticise the BJP government because you couldn’t get into the cabinet
This is something a person who doesn’t know my background would say. I had resigned from the IAS when I had 12 years to go for retirement.
Do you see some weaknesses in the Modi government? Do you see a failing on the part of Modi or Arun Jaitley?
Please be clear that Modi is not an issue, the current conditions of the country and the policies of the Modi government are issues. We are not opposing Modi or Jaitley.
Do you think there should be a maximum age limit in politics?
A 92-year-old Mahathir Bin Mohamad became Prime Minister of Malaysia recently. In Karnataka, Yeddyurappa, who was the chief minister’s candidate is more than 75 years old. Our attorney general’s age is 84-85 years. Age is not important. Health is. Age is just a number.
What are the five major failures of the Modi government?
First, Modi ji said that he will bring back black money from abroad and distribute Rs 15-15 lakhs to everyone. Second, he promised to create two crore jobs for the country’s youth. Neither of the two things happened. Third, their motto was ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas’. There has been no vikas. Fourth, there is an atmosphere of violence and retaliation in the country. This is against the Indian value system. Then, one has to see how the government is treating the Supreme Court. Four SC judges held a press conference to tell the public that democracy is under attack. The government’s failures will make a long list.
No charges of corruption have come up against any member of the Cabinet.
Not yet. During the UPA-I rule, no corruption charges cropped up from 2004 to 2009. It was in 2009 that reports about scams came up. Nirav Modi, Mehul Chouksey and bank frauds – all this is happening in front of everyone.
At the time of UPA, the CBI was described as a caged parrot. Your take on the role of CBI, Income Tax department and the ED?
Income tax, CBI and ED have become worse than parrots. It is like when someone unleashes a dog to bark at or bite someone. It is like that. If they have to harass someone – me, you, or someone else, then they start a case against them. They say that a person, who is in public life, has done such and such a scam. The public believes it. And when the truth comes out after eight years, by then, the person is forgotten. The Congress party had called George Fernandes a coffin thief. Investigation was carried out and he was found innocent.