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|March 19, 1998|
A liberal among some archaic mindsets
A former bureaucrat, Yashwant Sinha is among the liberals in the Bharatiya Janata Party.
Influenced by Jayaprakash Narayan's movement of the mid-'70s, Sinha took to active politics and joined the Janata Dal in 1984 after resigning from his post as joint secretary in the ministry of shipping and transport. He was elected to the Rajya Sabha for the first time in 1988 and rose to prominence as a spokesman of the Dal during the 1989 Lok Sabha election. He made news when he walked out of the swearing-in ceremony, in pique, on being named a minister of state by V P Singh.
He later became the finance minister in the Chandra Shekhar government.
He has participated and led many government and multilateral delegations to various bilateral and economic conferences.
Born in 1937 at Patna, the articulate Sinha joined the Indian Administrative Services in 1960 after a two-year stint as lecturer in political science in Patna University, where he had studied. His first posting was at Santhal Parganas in south Bihar. It was his meetings with Jayaprakash Narayan in the late 1960s and early 1970s and his tenures as principal secretary to two chief ministers of Bihar, Karpoori Thakur of the Lok Dal and Janata Party's Ram Sundar Dass, that attracted him to politics.
Now in the Bharatiya Janata Party, Sinha is president of the party's state unit and is also one of its spokespersons.
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