Former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Kalyan Singh on Tuesday quit the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) claiming that he felt "suffocated" and set at rest speculation about his future by declaring that he was not joining any other party.
Returning the ticket given to him by the BJP to contest the coming Lok Sabha elections from Etah in Uttar Pradesh, he said: "It is humiliating to remain in the BJP."
He told reporters in Lucknow that he was not joining any other political party, two days after a reported meeting between him and Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav in New Delhi.
"I am resigning from the membership and all posts of the BJP. I have sent my message to senior leader LK Advani and party president Rajnath Singh," he said.
"Let me make it very clear that I am not going to launch any new party; also, I am not going to join any other political party," added the MP from Bulandshahr in western Uttar Pradesh and a vice president of the BJP.
Dramatically displaying the party ticket, he said: "This ticket given to me to contest the elections from Etah constituency, I have returned it to the party leaders and I am sure they have received it."
Kalyan Singh, a three-time chief minister from the state, said he was being neglected in the party and was feeling suffocated. He was the chief minister when Hindu mobs razed the Babri mosque in Ayodhya in 1992.
"For quite some time I was mistreated and neglected in the party. This had made me suffocated. I have never compromised with my self respect, hence I resign from all the posts of the party," he said, clarifying that he would remain active in politics.
He rebuffed allegations that he was quitting because the party had refused ticket to his son Rajvir Singh or his favourites. "I never asked for ticket for either my son or anyone else."
His son was a minister in the Mulayam Singh Yadav government. On Monday, the Samajwadi Party chief announced that he was open to giving his party's ticket to the BJP leader's son.
Kalyan Singh said the last straw was the party giving a ticket to Ashok Pradhan from his constituency Bulandshahr.
"He (Ashok Pradhan) worked against the party interests to defeat my son (in the 2007 assembly elections)."