RASHTRIYA LOK Dal (RLD) chief Ajit Singh is known in the political circle as a smooth operator. Using his bargaining power, he has virtually been able to extract the maximum from the State Government. So far, so good.
But Governor TV Rajeswar, who probably had in mind Singh’s ‘bullish’ run in the State’s political scenario,.has obviously put a spanner on his bid to get his party’s non-legislator nominees inducted as ministers in the Mulayam Singh Yadav Government without an election.
A close scrutiny of Singh’s political journey reveals that the RLD chief has failed to make any mark ever since he entered the political scene banking on the political legacy of his father. Singh’s chief ministerial ambitions had suffered a set back when he lost out to Mulayam Singh Yadav when the Janata Dal chose its Chief Minister in 1989. Interestingly, Singh’s bête-noire Yadav too claims to be a successor of the Charan Singh legacy.
But in his present association with Yadav, the RLD chief has tried to extract the maximum from his erstwhile rival.
Take the case of RLD nominees who used provisions of Article 164 (4) to stick to the post of minister. RLD MP Anuradha Chaudhary continued as Minister for Irrigation in the Mulayam Singh Yadav Government even after she got elected to Lok Sabha in 2004.
Chaudhary clung on the post of minister till the six-month limitation compelled her to tender resignation from the post.
Singh thereafter got Merajuddin Ahmad inducted as Minister for Irrigation. The RLD did not bother to get Ahmad elected to either of the two Houses. Ahmad continued as minister on the post till constitutional provisions allowed him there.
This may be repeated yet again if the Governor decides to administer oath of office and secrecy to the two RLD nominees.
Singh has also extracted the maximum even in terms of net political gains for RLD.
The RLD has 14 MLAs in the Vidhan Sabha. On the basis its strength the RLD may not have been able to get even one candidate elected in recently concluded Vidhan Parishad or the Rajya Sabha elections.
With Singh’s hard bargaining power the RLD was able to get two seats in Vidhan Parishad and a seat in Rajya Sabha.
Singh has mostly promoted only those who have lost elections. Take the cases of the RLD nominees whom Ajit Singh wanted in the ministry. Tara Chand Shastri has lost Lok Sabha election twice. In 1999 he lost on a BSP ticket. He lost on a Congress ticket in 2004. Khalid Chaudhary too had lost the Lok Sabha poll on a BSP ticket from Ghaziabad.
Another RLD leader Harpal Singh Saini (MLC) had lost Vidhan Sabha poll twice. Munna Singh Chauhan too was accommodated in the Vidhan Parishad though he lost the Vidhan Sabha poll.
Significantly, this may be probably because of the manipulative skills of Singh that RLD has had best of both the worlds during the tenure of the 14th Vidhan Sabha.
As Singh shared power as Agriculture Minister in the NDA Government at the Centre, the RLD became part of Mayawati government here. Later, Singh moved away from the BJP and Mayawati and became part of Mulayam Government.