Mamata offered to be taken hostage to save Kandahar hijack passengers: Yashwant Sinha
- Banerjee made this offer "as she is not afraid of her life," Sinha said
- Yashwant Sinha joined the TMC earlier on Saturday
- The attack on Mamata Banerjee in Nandigram was the "tipping point" for joining TMC, Sinha said
Yashwant Sinha, an ex-BJP leader who joined TMC on Saturday ahead of West Bengal assembly elections, while praising the state chief minister, Mamata Banerjee, called her a "fighter". The former union minister said during the Kandahar hijack of Air India plane in 1999, when TMC was a coalition partner of the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government, Banerjee had offered to go and meet the hijackers and offered herself as a hostage in exchange for passengers in the hijacked plane.
Banerjee made this offer "as she is not afraid for her life," Sinha said.
Sinha on Saturday, after joining the TMC, listed out his reasons on joining the party and pledged support to Mamata in her fight against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
The former Union Minister said that the attack on Banerjee in Nandigram was the "tipping point" for him to join the TMC. When I spoke to her today, she described the incident to me," Sinha said. He said he had about a 45-minute conversation with Banerjee before joining the TMC.
"This government can do anything to win the election. The attack on Mamata Ji made me decide that I want to work with her," he said about the March 10 incident.
"TMC will win the polls by thumping majority. But, we have to increase the victory to another level," Sinha said in Kolkata.
Sinha hit out at the BJP and said that India is "facing an unprecedented situation." Sinha, a vocal critic of the Narendra Modi government, quit the BJP in 2018 after having differences with the ruling party's leadership. The 83-year-old was Union Minister twice, once in 1990 in Chandra Sekhar cabinet and then again in the government of Atal Bihari Vajpayee.