Springing a surprise, former Union minister Yashwant Sinha, joined the Trinamool Congress (TMC) on Saturday.

Earlier, Sinha was a member of the BJP. He had served in the cabinet of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. However, Sinha, who is known to be a bitter critic of PM Narendra Modi, had quit the saffron party in 2018 over differences with the party leadership.

Pledging his support to TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee, Sinha, rued the weakening of India’s democracy.

“The country is passing through a strange situation. Our values and principles are in danger…The strength of democracy lies in the robustness of its institutions, and all the institutions have been weakened systematically,” Sinha said.

Sinha’s move comes just weeks before the West Bengal Assembly elections. His son Jayant Sinha is the BJP MP from Hazaribagh in Jharkhand.

“We welcome Yashwant Sinha to our party. His participation would strengthen our fight against the BJP in the elections,” TMC Lok Sabha party leader Sudip Bandopadhyay said.

Sinha had served as Union Finance minister twice- once in the Chandra Sekhar cabinet in 1990 and then again in the Vajpayee ministry. He also held the portfolio of External Affairs ministry in the Vajpayee cabinet.

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