Yashwant Sinha
Sinha in 2008
Vice President of All India Trinamool Congress
In office
15 March 2021 – June 2022
PresidentMamata Banerjee
Minister of External Affairs
In office
1 July 2002 – 22 May 2004
Prime MinisterAtal Bihari Vajpayee
Preceded byJaswant Singh
Succeeded byNatwar Singh
Minister of Finance
In office
5 December 1998 – 1 July 2002
Prime MinisterAtal Bihari Vajpayee
Preceded byP. Chidambaram
Succeeded byJaswant Singh
In office
10 November 1990 – 5 June 1991
Prime MinisterChandra Shekhar
Preceded byMadhu Dandavate
Succeeded byManmohan Singh
Member of Parliament, Lok Sabha
In office
Preceded byM. L. Vishwakarma
Succeeded byJayant Sinha
Member of Parliament, Rajya Sabha
In office
Personal details
Born (1937-11-06) 6 November 1937 (age 86)[1]
Patna, Bihar Province, British India
(present-day Bihar, India)[1]
Political partyIndependent
Other political
Janata Dal (1988–1991)
Bharatiya Janata Party (1992–2018)
Bhartiya Sab Log Party (2020-2021)
All India Trinamool Congress (2021-2022)
SpouseNilima Sinha
ChildrenJayant Sinha
Sumant Sinha, Sharmila
Residence(s)New Delhi, India
OccupationCivil servant, politician
AwardsOfficier de la Légion d’Honneur (2015)

Yashwant Sinha (Hindustani pronunciation: [jəʃˈʋən̪t̪ sɪnˈɦɑː], born 6 November 1937) is an Indian administrator and politician. He served as the Minister of Finance from 1990 until 1991 under Prime Minister Chandra Shekhar and again from March 1998 to July 2002 under Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. He also served as the Minister of External Affairs from July 2002 until May 2004.[2] He was a senior leader of the BJP before he left the party on 21 April 2018.[3]

In March 2021, he joined the AITC; however he left in June 2022 as he was selected by the Combined Opposition Parties as their presidential candidate for the 2022 Presidential election. But lost the election against Droupadi Murmu of NDA.

Early life

Sinha was born in a Kayastha family in Patna, Bihar.[4] He graduated from University of Patna in BA Hons(History). He received his master's degree in political science in 1958.[1] Subsequently, he taught the subject at the University of Patna until 1962.

Civil Service career

Sinha joined the Indian Administrative Service in 1960 and spent over 24 years holding important posts during his service tenure. He served as Sub-Divisional Magistrate and District Magistrate for 4 years. He was Under Secretary and Deputy Secretary in the Finance Department of the Bihar Government for 2 years after which he worked in the Ministry of Commerce as Deputy Secretary to the Government of India.[5]

From 1971 to 1973, he was First Secretary (Commercial) in the Indian Embassy, Bonn, West Germany. Subsequently, he worked as Consul General of India in Frankfurt from 1973 to 1974.[6] After working for over seven years in this field, he acquired experience in matters relating to foreign trade and India's relations with the European Economic Community. Thereafter, he worked in the Department of Industrial Infrastructure, Government of Bihar State and in the Ministry of Industry, Government of India dealing with foreign industrial collaborations, technology imports, intellectual property rights, and industrial approvals.[7]

He later was Joint Secretary to Government of India in the Ministry of Surface Transport from 1980 to 1984, his main responsibilities were road transport, ports, and shipping. He resigned from service in 1984.[8]

Political career

Janata Dal

Sinha resigned from the Indian Administrative Service in 1984 and joined active politics as a member of the Janata Party. He was appointed All-India General secretary of the party in 1986 and was elected Member of the Rajya Sabha (Upper House of the Indian Parliament) in 1988.[9]

When the Janata Dal was formed in 1989, he was appointed General Secretary of the party. He worked as Minister of Finance from November 1990 to June 1991 in Chandra Shekhar's Cabinet.[10]


He became the National Spokesperson of the BJP in June 1996. He was elected to Lok Sabha as a BJP candidate from Hazaribagh in 1998, 1999, and 2009. He was appointed finance minister in March 1998. He was appointed Minister for External Affairs on 1 July 2002. In the Lok Sabha elections of 2004, he was defeated by Bhubneshwar Prasad Mehta of CPI. He re-entered the Parliament in 2005. On 13 June 2009, he resigned from the post of vice-president of BJP.[11] In 2018, he quit the BJP citing the "party's condition" and that "democracy in India is in great danger".[3]

In his autobiography Drohkaal ka Pathik, released in November 2013, former MP Pappu Yadav alleged that three MPs of his Indian Federal Democratic Party got money from the then finance minister Sinha, to join the NDA in 2001.[12]

Also there were allegations against Yashwant Sinha, that he was involved in the UTI scam.[13][14][15][16][17]

On 4 April 2017, Sinha was detained in Hazaribagh district along with BJP MLA Manish Jaiswal and 150 others after trying to hold a religious procession. On police stopping them, his supporters protested and allegedly threw stones at the police.[18]

TMC and 2022 presidential campaign

On 13 March 2021, he joined TMC to fight against BJP just before the 2021 West Bengal Assembly Election. On 15 March 2021 he was appointed vice president of the Mamata Banerjee-led party. He was selected unanimously as the President Candidate of the Opposition for 2022 Presidential Election, making him the First AITC leader to be nominated for the President.

Finance minister

Sinha speaking at World Economic Forum on East Asia in 2008

Sinha was the finance minister until 1 July 2002, when he exchanged jobs with foreign minister Jaswant Singh. Sinha, during his tenure, was forced to roll back some of his government's major policy initiatives for which he was much criticised.[19] Still, Sinha is widely credited with pushing through several major reform measures that put the Indian economy on a firm growth trajectory. Among them are lowering of real interest rates, introducing tax deduction for mortgage interest, freeing up the telecommunications sector, helping fund the National Highways Authority, and deregulating the petroleum industry. Sinha is also known for being the first Finance Minister to break the 53-year tradition of presenting the Indian budget at 5 pm local time, a practice held over from British Rule days that sought to present the Indian budget at a time convenient to the British Parliament (1130am GMT) rather than India's Parliament.

Sinha has written a comprehensive account of his years as Finance Minister titled Confessions of a Swadeshi Reformer.[20]

Yashwant Sinha has been accused by opponents, and by other political observers of trying to promote nepotism by nominating his son Jayant Sinha as a successor to contest from Hazaribagh overlooking the interests of many other loyal party workers, though he tried to justify the nomination of his son as a party decision.[21]


In 2015, he was awarded Officier de la Légion d’Honneur, the highest civilian distinction of France.[22] It was bestowed upon him in recognition of his work as Union Minister of Finance, Minister of External Foreign Affairs and for his invaluable contribution to international issues.[23][24]

Personal life

Sinha was born in a Bihari kayastha family and has a wide range of interests including reading, gardening and meeting people. He has widely travelled and has led a number of political and social delegations. He played a leading role in many negotiations on behalf of India. Sinha's wife is Nilima Sinha, one of India's leading children's writers and President, Association of Writers and Illustrators for Children.[25] They have a daughter, Sharmila, and two sons: Jayant Sinha and Sumant Sinha. Sinha blogs under the title Musings of a Swadeshi Reformer.[26] He has co-authored the book India Unmade with Aditya Sinha.[27]

Electoral performance

This section is transcluded from Hazaribagh Lok Sabha constituency. (edit | history)

2009 Indian general election: Hazaribagh
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
BJP Yashwant Sinha 2,19,810 31.81
INC Saurabh Narain Singh 1,79,646 26.00
AJSU Chandra Prakash Choudhary 86,880 12.57
JMM Shivlal Mahto 53,902 7.80
CPI Bhubneshwar Prasad Mehta 53,785 7.78
JVM(P) Braj Kishore Jaiswal 43,745 6.33
Majority 40,164 5.81
Turnout 6,90,943 53.08
Registered electors
BJP gain from CPI Swing

This section is transcluded from 2022 Indian presidential election. (edit | history)

Results of the 2022 Indian presidential election[28][29]
Candidate Coalition Individual
College votes
Droupadi Murmu National Democratic Alliance 2,824 676,803 64.03
Yashwant Sinha United Opposition 1,877 380,177 35.97
Valid votes 4,701 1,056,980 98.89
Blank and invalid votes 53 15,397 1.11
Total 4,754 1,072,377 100
Registered voters / Turnout 4,809 1,086,431 98.86


  1. ^ a b c "Yashwant Sinha, a profile:Finance Minister, Government of India". Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. Retrieved 30 September 2007.
  2. ^ "Indian government reshuffled". BBC News. 1 July 2002. Retrieved 30 September 2007.
  3. ^ a b "Yashwant Sinha Quits BJP, Says India's Democracy Is In Danger". NDTV.com. Retrieved 30 April 2020.
  4. ^ Yashwant., Sinha (2019). Relentless : an Autobiography of Yashwant Sinha. Bloomsbury Publishing India Pvt. Ltd. ISBN 978-93-86950-36-9. OCLC 1109811023.
  5. ^ Prasad, Anuja, Gireesh Chandra (31 December 2018). "I know I am putting the political career of my son in jeopardy: Yashwant Sinha". mint. Retrieved 2 July 2021.
  6. ^ "Who is Yashwant Sinha?". India Today. 1 March 2012. Retrieved 2 September 2021.
  7. ^ "Yashwant Sinha: A brief profile". Hindustan Times. 22 June 2004. Retrieved 2 September 2021.
  8. ^ "Yashwant Sinha – The Telegraph". The Telegraph. Kolkota. Retrieved 6 November 2019.
  9. ^ Sinha, Yashwant (5 January 2019). "Yashwant Sinha asks in his latest book: Where are the jobs?". National Herald. Archived from the original on 5 January 2019. Retrieved 16 November 2020.((cite web)): CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  10. ^ "Yashwant Sinha | Biography & Facts". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 16 November 2020.
  11. ^ "Yashwant Sinha quits as BJP vice president". Ibnlive.in.com. 13 June 2009. Archived from the original on 16 June 2009. Retrieved 4 July 2013.
  12. ^ D K Singh (27 November 2013) Pappu Yadav in memoir: Both Cong, BJP offered MPs Rs 40 crore each. The Indian Express
  13. ^ "Why this madness now, Mr Yashwant Sinha?". Business Standard India. 8 February 2012.
  14. ^ "rediff.com: Money column: The UTI fiasco: So who is responsible?". www.rediff.com. Retrieved 16 November 2020.
  15. ^ "Lessons from Jaswant, Yashwant: Adapt to survive in the new BJP". 31 March 2014.
  16. ^ "Swamy wants Sinha to resign". The Hindu. 13 July 2001. Archived from the original on 24 February 2003.
  17. ^ "Court notice to Sinha on UTI scam". Archived from the original on 4 March 2016.
  18. ^ "Yashwant Sinha, BJP MLA held in Jharkhand". 4 April 2017.
  19. ^ "A welcome rollback". Free Press Journal. 29 April 2002. Archived from the original on 9 February 2005.
  20. ^ Confessions of a Swadeshi reformer at publisher site. Retrieved 4 November 2008.[permanent dead link]
  21. ^ "What lies behind the corrosive effect of dynasty? | Al Jazeera".
  22. ^ "French Distinction Conferred on Yashwant Sinha". Retrieved 11 June 2015.
  23. ^ "Highest French Distinction conferred on Mr Yashwant Sinha". La France en Inde / France in India. Retrieved 29 August 2021.
  24. ^ "Yashwant Sinha honoured with Officier de la Légion d'Honneur by French Government". Jagranjosh.com. 28 April 2015. Retrieved 29 August 2021.
  25. ^ Superle, Michelle (2011). Literature: Representations of Nation, Culture, and the New Indian Girl. New York: Routledge. p. 27. ISBN 9781136720871. Retrieved 4 September 2014.
  26. ^ "Musings of a Swadeshi Reformer". Yashwantsinha.in. Archived from the original on 4 November 2013. Retrieved 18 March 2013.
  27. ^ Subramanian, Kandaswami (19 January 2019). "'India Unmade – How the Modi Government Broke the Economy' review: Dissenting voice". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 26 November 2019.
  28. ^ "While President-elect #DroupadiMurmu got a vote in all states, Opposition's Presidential candidate Yashwant Sinha drew a blank in Andhra Pradesh, Nagaland, & Sikkim". Twitter.com. Retrieved 26 July 2022.
  29. ^ "Number Theory: Comparing Droupadi Murmu's win with her predecessors". Hindustan Times. 21 July 2022. Retrieved 25 July 2022.
Political offices Preceded byMadhu Dandavate Minister of Finance November 1990 – June 1991 Succeeded byManmohan Singh Preceded byP. Chidambaram Minister of Finance March 1998 – July 2002 Succeeded byJaswant Singh Preceded byJaswant Singh Minister for External Affairs July 2002 – May 2004 Succeeded byNatwar Singh Order of precedence Preceded byUnknown Order of Precedence of Indiaas Joint Secretary to Government of India 1980–1984 Succeeded byUnknown