Stung by the Congress criticism of the Samajwadi Party’s growing bonhomie with former Chief Minister Kalyan Singh, party general secretary Amar Singh hit out against the Congress by questioning the role of former Prime Minister PV Narsimha Rao and then HRD Minister Arjun Singh in the demolition of the Babri mosque in December 1992.
Why did Arjun Singh cancel his agitation program at Ayodhya on December 4 after a meeting with the then Chief Minister Kalyan Singh, the SP leader asked?
Also hitting out against his party’s Muslim MPs for disapproving of the party leadership’s decision in reaching out to Kalyan Singh, the SP general secretary sought to expose the hypocrisy of such leaders by pointing out that the same MPs – as also the Congress - had had no qualms in supporting the Mulayam Singh Yadav-led coalition government in 2003 which had included Kalyan Singh’s Rashtriya Kranti Party as a constituent partner. Kalyan’s son Rajveer had also been a minister in the coalition government, he further pointed out.
SP MPs including Shafiq-ur-Rehman Burq, Azam Khan and Saleem Sherwani have publicly opposed the party leadership decision to align with Kalyan Singh. The party general secretary said that such individuals were unhappy because of being denied the party ticket to contest the parliamentary elections this occasion.
Recalling the Congress decision to induct individuals including Sanjay Nirupam (Shiv Sena) and Shankar Singh Vaghela, Singh said that the attacks against Kalyan were “politically motivated”.
Kalyan is a very different person today as he has completely disowned the principles of his former organisation and expressed regrets at having been associated with it, Singh said at a press conference.
Meanwhile, the SP general secretary announced the candidature of Prem Kumar Parihar as the party candidate for the Fatehpur Sikri parliamentary constituency. After today’s announcement, the SP’s list of declared candidates from UP adds up to 53. Over the remaining 27 out of a total of UP’s 80 parliamentary seats, the possibility of seat sharing arrangements are still open between the SP and Congress.