BJP leader Yashwant Sinha detained during protest march, later released


Former Union Finance Minister and Bharatiya Janta Party leader, Yashwant Sinha was released after being detained for four and half hours by the Akola police late on Monday, December 5 for leading a farmers' protest. Patole himself arrived in Akola on Tuesday.

Sharad Pawar, whose Nationalist Congress Party has launched a "Halla Bol" march to Nagpur from Yavatmal, and Shiv Sena supremo Uddhav Thackeray spoke with the veteran BJP leader over the telephone. Both the leaders declared their support to the agitation. He said he will not budge from the venue till all demands raised by farmers are met.

Sinha said there has been no communication with Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis over half-a-dozen demands of farmers. But the Chief Minister, instead of talking to Sinha, conveyed a message that he should hold discussions with the Prime Minister.

Total loan waiver for farmers of the state.

"Before coming to power, the BJP had promised to give 50 per cent over and above the minimum support price (MSP)".

Sinha, whose son Jayant Sinha is a minister in Narendra Modi's government, has criticised the Prime Narendra and Union finance minister Arun Jaitley for their economic policies, which he says, has incited a slowdown that will not go away before the next general elections in 2019.

Sinha, along with hundreds of farmers, was protesting against the government for its alleged apathy towards cotton and soybean cultivators outside the Akola district collector's office. They were demanding procurement of the entire crop and compensation for losses due to pests.

He added that the state government is responsible for the current condition of the farmers. Other leaders from various political parties are also extending their support.

Sinha added: "So despite the SP's announcement that he has released us, we made a decision to remain and we'll go wherever the police takes us, but unless our demands are accepted, our protest will continue".

Sinha - who has often taken a contrarian view within the party, most recently criticising the implementation of GST by the BJP Government at the Centre - said he did not wish to turn his protest into "party politics".