Born in a sleepy town in Atrauli in UP's Aligarh district, Kalyan Singh joined RSS on the eve of independence while he was still in school. This backward caste leader quickly rose through the ranks of the high-caste Hindu-dominated RSS under the tutelage of Deendayal Upadhyaya and Nanaji Deshmukh and was elected to the state legislature for the first time in 1967 from Atrauli. Singh has retained the constituency ever since with 1980 assembly elections being the only exception. He also served as Leader of the Opposition in the UP Assembly in late 80s.
His first term as the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh will always be remembered for demolition of Babri Masjid. On December 7, 1992 Kar Sevaks led by the leaders of Sangh Parivar demolished the controversial Babri Masjid. On the same day President Shankar Dayal Sharma dismissed the Kalyan Singh Government and dissolved the Uttar Pradesh Assembly.
Kalyan Singh's second term as the chief minister, which started on September 21, 1997 proved a fiasco especially in the later half. The BSP withdrew its support October 10, 1997 but Kalyan Singh survived engineering defections in Congress (22 rebel MLAs), BSP (12 rebel MLAs), JD (3 rebel MLAs), BKKP (3 rebel MLAs) and formed the government.
He succumbed to constant blackmailing by coalition partners specially the Loktantrik Congress, the Congress splinter group. In an attempt to appease all, Kalyan Singh gifted portfolios to partymen and allies alike, in the process, making his ministry among the largest in the country.
His controversial relationship with Lucknow's Corporator Kusum Rai added to his woes. During Kalyan's second term as the UP CM, Rai emerged as an extra-constitutional authority in the CM's office. Even though Kalyan Singh and Kusum Rai have been claiming that they share a father-daughter relation, the political and the public psyche believes otherwise.
Following the opposition within the BJP, Kalyan Singh was removed from the post of UP chief minister by the high command on November 12, 1999. Later, Kalyan singh floated a separate party (Rashtriya Kratni Dal).
One of the slickest players of the Ram card for the BJP, Kalyan Singh formally rejoined BJP on February 3, 2004.
Four years after the unhappy expulsion, Kalyan was wooed back into the BJP folds and was appointed in-charge of the party's election committee in the state for the coming Lok Sabha polls.