BJP vice-president Kalyan Singh on Sunday met Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Mulayam Singh Yadav in New Delhi,underscoring his simmering unhappiness with his party,and sending out signals that he may well be on his way out.
The meeting the second between the two UP leaders over the past couple of months took place at the residence of an SP MP. It came on the eve of the BJP central election committee meeting that will,among other things,put the seal on the seats the BJP will leave for Ajit Singh,with whose Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) the party is on the verge of announcing a seat-sharing arrangement for the Lok Sabha polls.
Kalyan has been strongly opposed to a tie-up with Ajit. The BJP on the other hand,thinks the alliance will boost its prospects in western UP including,specifically,that of party chief Rajnath Singh who will contest from Ghaziabad.
Kalyan had been in touch with the SP ever since the BJP announced Ashok Pradhan as a candidate from Bulandshahr,which the Lodh leader considers his own turf. Kalyan holds Pradhan responsible for his son Rajvirs defeat in the last Assembly elections. Rajvirs supporters tried to prevent Pradhans supporters from entering Bulandshahr last week,forcing the police to intervene.
Incidentally,SP,which has announced candidates for over 50 Lok Sabha constituencies,is yet to announce a candidate from Etah,the seat that Kalyan is slated to contest.
Kalyans old associate Kusum Rai,however,said the former UP chief minister had sorted out his issues with his party. He did have problems with any tie-up with the RLD initially,but he was later reconciled to the arrangement, she told The Indian Express.
Though Mulayam and Kalyan come from opposite sides of the political spectrum and were once bitter enemies in UP,they had in 2003,joined hands to fight Mayawati. Over the past few days,Kalyan has attacked the then NDA Governments handling of the Kandahar affair,and supported Bhairon Singh Shekhawats rebellion.
A BJP insider,however,claimed: We have not yet given up on Kalyan Singh,even if he has met Mulayam and others.