BJP national vice-president Kalyan Singh is believed to have refused the Governor’s post and has instead demanded a ministerial berth for his son, Rajveer Singh alias Raju Bhaiyya, who is Etah MP.
While Kalyan could not be contacted, Rajveer said, “An offer for the post of Governor to Kalyan Singh has not yet come officially. The news about the offer or refusal has been created by the media.”
Sources in the party, however, said Kalyan met party national president Rajnath Singh and some other senior leaders of the party last week and said he was reluctant to take up the gubernatorial post. Kalyan was told to either choose West Bengal or Karnataka, sources added.
A senior party leader said Kalyan wants Rajveer’s induction as Minister of State in the next cabinet expansion that is likely after the budget session. But, sources said, the party is not keen to send Rajveer in the government; he may given a ministry ahead of the 2017 UP Assembly elections to appease the Lodh voters.
Kalyan, a former UP chief minister, has a strong following among Lodh and other backward castes voters in UP. “He will lose this following as well as his workers if he takes charge as Governor. Rajveer’s elevation will keep the Lodh voters intact that will be vital in various constituencies of Lodh dominated Braj region in the 2017 elections,” said a party leader.
The leader also said Kalyan wants to establish his son in politics before he becomes “politically inactive” by accepting the Governor’s post. He added Kalyan’s motive behind elevating his son is also to bring him in the race for chief minister’s post in the 2017 Assembly elections.
Rajveer is state vice-president of UP BJP.
“When the party is in a hurry to depute Governors, Kalyan’s decision may yet again sour his relations with the party,” another party leader said.
Kalyan had left BJP for the first time in December 1999 over differences with the then Prime Minister, A B Vajpayee. He returned in January 2004 and won as BJP candidate from Bulandshahr in the Lok Sabha elections. He left BJP again in January 2009 owing to differences over distribution of party tickets for the Lok Sabha elections. He had then joined hands with the Samajwadi Party and went to win from Etah as an Independent.
In November 2009, he parted ways with the SP and formed Jan Kranti Party. In January 2013, he again returned to BJP and merged his party with it.
Kalyan had earlier announced to contest the Lok Sabha election from Etah but later decided to field his son from his stronghold. Rajveer won the election with a margin of over two lakh votes. Kalyan took formal membership of the party on March 2 this year and party appointed him national vice-president next day.