She may be known as his protege,but on Wednesday BJP Rajya Sabha MP Kusum Rai had words of advice for her mentor Kalyan Singh,some of which he may want to ponder over. Talking of the BJP vice-president,who left the party on Tuesday,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.
She also expressed surprise at Kalyans decision to campaign for the Samajwadi Party in the coming Lok Sabha elections,pointing out that his public image is not of a backward caste leader,but a Hindu leader. I wont comment on this,his campaigning for the SP …its to be seen.
She claimed Kalyan had not taken her into confidence before resigning from the BJP. I came to know of his decision from TV,I was in Varanasi.
Hinting at the fact that Kalyan felt ignored in the party,Rai admitted that in politics people wanted to finish others. But it is important to see that we are not diminished. People are becoming alert and wiser, she said. I too have tolerated a lot.
The MP refuted reports that there were problems in the Kalyan household on account of him having ensured her a Rajya Sabha berth. His daughter-in-law is an MLA. His son was given a ticket in the Assembly elections by the party, she shot back.
Explaining her decision to stay on in the BJP,Rai said she had resigned as PWD minister in the Mulayam Singh government (in February 2004) to join the BJP. I could have remained a minister then. But I sacrificed the post for the party, she said.
In Lucknow,Rai is known for having wielded enormous clout when Kalyan was the chief minister.