In a party meeting in Lucknow, senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders discussed everything from organisational matters to price rise. They also discussed black-marketing of fertilizers. Everything but the possible return of former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Kalyan Singh.
Though Singh is eager to come back, his former colleagues seem to stay shy of talking about him in public.
The party’s central leadership hasn’t yet taken a stand on him. Therefore, even if the state’s leaders talk or meet Singh, collectively, he continues to be a political untouchable.
So when state president Ramapati Ram Tripathi held a meeting with party leaders at the state headquarters on Wednesday, nobody dared talk about him.
The participants were Kalyan’s former colleagues — Om Prakash Singh, Lalji Tandon, Hukum Singh, Surya Pratap Sahi, Lallu Singh, Rambaksh Verma, Nagendra Nath, Swatantra Deo Singh and Prem Lata Katiyar, among others.
But none of them even made a passing reference to Kalyan Singh. Party spokesman and vice-president Hridaya Narayan Dixit confirmed this to HT. “ Indeed, he was not the subject matter of the meeting.”
Sources said Singh still has an almost equal supporters and detractors in the party.
Leaders such as Lalji Tandon, Kalraj Mishra and Vinay Katiyar have not just called Singh but also want him back in the party. But there are others who don’t like the idea.
“Making a case for Kalyan Singh will displease the central leadership if it has decided to reject his offer of returning to the party,” a leader said.
The predicament was best explained by Kalyan’s protégée and Rajya Sabha MP Kusum Rai: “How can I meet or talk to him without the party’s permission?”