Protege Rai’s advice to Kalyan: in a battle,sometimes one has to retreat

She may be known as his protege,but on Wednesday Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Rajya Sabha MP Kusum Rai had words of advice for her mentor Kalyan Singh.

Written by Sanjay Singh | Lucknow | Published:January 22, 2009 12:58 am

She may be known as his protege,but on Wednesday Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Rajya Sabha MP Kusum Rai had words of advice for her mentor Kalyan Singh. While speaking of Singh’s resignation from BJP’s primary membership,Rai said: “In a battle,sometimes one has to retreat.”

According to Rai,while Kalyan was a big politician,he knew no diplomacy. “In politics,I have worked with him like his shadow. He is a big politician,but not a diplomat,” she said. Rai described Kalyan as a simple gentleman and an emotional person.

Rai said Singh had not taken her into confidence before resigning from the BJP. “I came to know of his decision in Varanasi while watching the television. I cannot comment on his decision,” she added.

But Rai was surprised by Singh’s decision to campaign for the Samajwadi Party (SP) in the Lok Sabha elections. “I won’t comment on this,but he will campaign for SP…it’s to be seen,” she said. Rai also pointed out Singh’s “public image was not that of a backward caste leader,but a Hindu leader”.

“In politics,people want to eliminate others. But it is important to see we are not diminished. The people are becoming alert and wiser,” she said. “I too have tolerated a lot,” Rai added.

Asked about reports of problems in Singh’s family regarding the former chief minister getting her a berth in the Rajya Sabha,Rai said she did not believe in such reports. “His daughter-in-law is an MLA. His son was given ticket in the Assembly elections by the party,” she added.

Rai was virtually an extra-constitutional authority in the state during the Kalyan Singh regime. She had held several important posts,including a Public Works Department (PWD) minister,chairperson of the State Social Advisory Board and the Mahila Ayog. She had begun her career as a corporator of the Lucknow Municipal Corporation in 1995.

Explaining her decision to stay on in the BJP,Rai said she had resigned as the PWD minister in the Mulayam Singh government (February 2004) only to join the BJP. “I could have remained a minister then. But I sacrificed the post for the party,” she said.

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