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. He was a senior leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party before he left the party on 21 April 2018.
|Vice President of All India Trinamool Congress|
15 March 2021 – 21 June 2022
|Preceded by||Dinesh Trivedi|
|Minister of External Affairs|
1 July 2002 – 22 May 2004
|Prime Minister||Atal Bihari Vajpayee|
|Preceded by||Jaswant Singh|
|Succeeded by||Natwar Singh|
|Minister of Finance|
5 December 1998 – 1 July 2002
|Prime Minister||Atal Bihari Vajpayee|
|Preceded by||P. Chidambaram|
|Succeeded by||Jaswant Singh|
10 November 1990 – 5 June 1991
|Prime Minister||Chandra Shekhar|
|Preceded by||Madhu Dandavate|
|Succeeded by||Manmohan Singh|
|Member of Parliament, Lok Sabha|
|Preceded by||M. L. Vishwakarma|
|Succeeded by||Jayant Sinha|
|Member of Parliament, Rajya Sabha|
|Born||6 November 1937|
Patna, Bihar Province, British India
(present-day Bihar, India)
|Political party||UPA (2022–present)|
|All India Trinamool Congress (2021–2022)|
Bharatiya Janata Party (1992–2018)
Janata Dal (1984–1991)
|Residence(s)||New Delhi, India|
|Occupation||Civil servant, politician|
|Awards||Officier de la Légion d’Honneur (2015)|
In March 2021, he joined All India Trinamool Congress; however he left in June 2022 as he was selected by the United Opposition (India) as their presidential candidate in the 2022 presidential election.
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.
From 1971 to 1973, he was First Secretary (Commercial) in the Indian Embassy, Bonn, Germany. Subsequently, he worked as Consul General of India in Frankfurt from 1973 to 1974. 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. 
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.
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.
He became the National Spokesperson of the Bharatiya Janata Party in June 1996. He was elected to Lok Sabha as a BJP candidate from Hazaribagh (Lok Sabha constituency) in 1998, 1999, and 2009. He was appointed finance minister in March 1998. He was appointed as Minister for External Affairs on 1 July 2002. In the Lok Sabha elections of 2004, he was defeated in Hazaribagh Constituency by the able efforts of Prashant Sahay grandson of K B Sahay who later saved his life as well. He re-entered the Parliament in 2005. On 13 June 2009, he resigned from the post of vice-president of BJP. In 2018, he quit the BJP citing the "party's condition" and that "democracy in India is in great danger".
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 Trinamool Congress leader to be nominated for the President.
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. Still, Sinha is widely credited for 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.
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.
In 2015, he was awarded Officier de la Légion d’Honneur, the highest civilian distinction of France. 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.
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. They have a daughter, Sharmila, and two sons: Jayant Sinha and Sumant Sinha.
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. Also there were allegations against Yashwant Sinha, that he was involved in the UTI scam.
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.