RANCHI:Former union minister Yashwant Sinha today disapproved his son Jayant Sinha felicitating seven men convicted for killing a meat trader in the name of cow protection. Responding to demands on social media that he should spell out his stand on his son’s move, Mr Sinha spoke his mind but predicted that his tweet was going to lead to “further abuse”.
“I do not approve of my son’s action,” he tweeted, recalling how people on social media would call him a nalayak (ill-intentioned) father of a layak (worthy) son.
“Now the roles are reversed. That is Twitter,” he said, a reference to the sharp reaction on social media about his son, the minister of state in the central government, garlanding the men convicted of murdering a meat trader Alimuddin Ansari for carrying beef in his car.
Yashwant Sinha’s tweet taking exception to his son’s action came hours after Jayant Sinha’s explanation. The minister said he condemned the violence and rejected vigilantism but had “misgivings” about the court verdict. Mr Sinha also said he was “honouring the due process of law”.
The 55-year-old trader was dragged out of his car in June last year and beaten to death in Jharkhand’s Ramgarh by a mob that accused him of carrying beef.
Eleven people, including a local BJP leader were sentenced to life in jail for the murder by a fast track court in March this year. Eight of the 11 have been released on bail by the high court that also suspended the sentence till it decided their appeals. Seven of them later went to the union minister’s house and were welcomed by Mr Sinha with garlands.
Many praised Yashwant Sinha for speaking his mind even if it meant taking a stand against his son. But he was also attacked.
Yashwant Sinha tweeted again, minutes later. “There you are. Exactly as I had predicted. You can never win,” he said.
Mr Sinha, a former union minister in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government, has been a sharp critic of PM Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah and had spoken out against cow vigilantism too. In April this year, he finally quit the BJP that he had joined more than three decades earlier, declaring that democracy in the country is in “great danger”.
This isn’t the first time that the father and son have disagreed in public.
When Yashwant Sinha delivered a stinging takedown of Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s handling of the economy in September last year, it was son Jayant Sinha who had defended the government’s economic policies.
Jayant Sinha’s rebuttal, also in a newspaper article, was seen to be an attempt to have Yashwant Sinha cornered by his own son. The former BJP leader had then alluded to this perception when he said a response to his analysis should have come from the minister concerned or the official spokesperson.
Yashwant Sinha also asked why his son was shifted from the finance ministry to the civil aviation ministry “if he was so competent” to address the concerns raised by him.