‘To say we are becoming regressive because we opposed FDI in one sector is not fair judgment’
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In this Idea Exchange moderated by Assistant Editor Ravish Tiwari, BJP leader Yashwant Sinha talks about his party's stand on FDI, the Banking Bill and why he asked Nitin Gadkari to step down.
Ravish Tiwari: There is a paralysis in the BJP over allegations of corruption made against the party president. You have said that this image has dented the popular perception of the party. Do you still stand by it or are you convinced by the explanations S Gurumurthy has given about Nitin Gadkari's business deals?
Yashwant Sinha: I issued a statement on November 20 and that was way after the explanation offered by S Gurumurthy. In that statement, I asked Mr Gadkari to quit his post. But I also raised larger questions of probity in public life. Those issues have not been highlighted by the media. My purpose in issuing that statement—to start a larger discussion on probity in public life—has unfortunately not received the kind of attention I expected it to receive. As far as Mr Gadkari is concerned, I have made a point and I have not subsequently spoken to the media. That continues to be my policy.
Coomi Kapoor: Should the BJP president have more than one term because the original rules had provided for only one term?
Yashwant Sinha: It was a two-year term to begin with, which could be repeated for another two years. Then it was extended to three years and later, the party decided there would be no second term. Now the party in its wisdom has decided that the president could be repeated. It becomes very difficult to give a personal opinion on issues on which the party has taken a decision.
Sunil Jain: On the Banking Bill, you have opposed allowing banks to invest in futures commodities. Mr Chidambaram has said that futures commodities was cleared in another Standing Committee of Parliament. He also says he has spoken to Arun Jaitley and Sushma Swaraj and they both seem to understand the urgency of clearing the Bill. So where are we on the Bills?