A day after senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Yashwant Sinha was detained and released by Maharashtra police, Sinha said that he will continue to support Vidarbha farmers and their cause.
Sinha along with 250 farmers was detained on Monday by Akola police under Section 68 of Bombay Police Act, said Akola district Superintendent of Police Rakesh Kalasagar.
However, Sinha said that he “will not budge” till their demands were met.
The former finance minister and hundreds of farmers were agitating outside the Maharashtra’s Akola district collector’s office, demanding better prices for crops and for cases to be filed against a few Bt cotton companies.
Sinha met the District Collector from Mumbai in the District office to discuss demands concerning farmer’s plight but did not receive a satisfactory answer from the authorities and decided to protest outside police headquarters, where they were detained, said media reports.
“We are trying to convince Mr Sinha that the government is sensitive towards farmers’ issues. We have told him that if he wishes, he is free to leave,” district collector Asit Kumar Pandey.
The BJP leader in the past has questioned Modi-led BJP government’s implementation of economic reforms. Sinha had criticised the implementation of Goods and Tax Services by the government saying that, GST could have been a “Good and Simple Tax” but the people in power made it a “Bad and Complicated Tax”. It is the government’s duty to remove anomalies in GST implementation.
Earlier Sinha had said, “Jaitely as the Finance Minister did not apply his brain when he prepared and implemented the GST. This is evident the way he has been tinkering it time and again. Even today some changes have been made. But any patchwork will not work. GST needs an overhaul”.
Sinha had asked Modi to set up a high-level committee headed by economist Vijay Kelkar to study GST and suggest remedial measures.
Earlier, Sinha rubbished Modi’s claim that demonetisation and GST were successful, saying both exercises had actually failed.
“Notebandi and GST failed as their objectives were not fulfilled. None of the black money has returned to the banks” after Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 notes were scrapped in November last year, Sinha had said.
Sinha had also said that he would have opposed it “tooth and nail” had he been the Finance Minister.
Sinha has also voiced opinions on the party policies of polarising voters on issues like the Ram temple or Article 370 of the Constitution will not work on a country-wide basis.
(With agency inputs)