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Wednesday, Sep 18, 2019

BJP's Kalyan hangover

Kalyan Singh has strongly abused the saffron party since his exit in 2009. Yet the shadow of the 'hero of the Ayodhya movement' looms large on the BJP. Brajendra K Parashar reports. Kalyan-BJP: A tale of love & hate

india Updated: Jan 23, 2012 02:28 IST
Brajendra K Parashar
Brajendra K Parashar
Hindustan Times

If the Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) vision document for the Uttar Pradesh polls is anything to go by, former BJP leader Kalyan Singh, who now heads the Jan Kranti Party, still rules their hearts.

The party has heaped a lavish praise on Kalyan Singh calling him the state's best chief minister. This is notwithstanding the fact that Kalyan Singh has strongly abused the saffron party and its leaders since his exit in 2009.

Kalyan Singh led the BJP's first government in the state in 1991-92 during which the demolition of the historic Babri Masjid in Ayodhya took place.

And it seems like the shadow of the "hero of the Ayodhya movement" still looms large on the party as the vision document fondly remembered Kalyan Singh's government as "one of the best governments in the history of the state".

Kalyan Singh was expelled from the he BJP in 1999 for "anti-party activities". He went on to launch the Rashtriya Kranti Party. He, however, returned to the BJP in 2004, but quit again in 2009 as he felt "humiliated".

He cosied up with Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh, who has long depended on Muslim support to win elections, in the run up to the 2009 Lok Sabha polls. But the alliance failed.

In 2010, Kalyan Singh, who is a leader of the Lodh community, launched Jan Kranti Party and made his son Rajvir Singh its president.

The vision document, which was released last week by BJP national president Nitin Gadkari, also mentions the "good work" done by BJP governments under Rajnath Singh and Ram Prakash Gupta. But it obviously rated Kalyan Singh's regime better than theirs.

"Kalyan Singh who led the BJP government in UP may not be with the BJP now but even today he is regarded as state's one of the best chief ministers," the vision document says.

The "seriously crafted" document describes the glorious past of the state under the BJP regime and then goes on blame the "sorry state of affairs in UP" to governments led by the Congress, the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party.

Kalyan Singh could not hide his delight when told about the paeans of praise sung for him by the BJP. But quickly asked, "Why does the BJP not support us (Jan Kranti Party) if it extols me?"

The fact remains that despite their love-hate relationship, Kalyan Singh and the BJP share some ideological ground, especially on issues such as Hindutva, Ram temple, nationalism, Muslim quota and terrorism.

"It is the BJP that copies me and not vice-versa," he claims.

First Published: Jan 23, 2012 00:04 IST