Om Prakash Singh, former BJP legislature party leader in UP and an arch rival of Rajnath Singh, is fuming after an alliance with the Apna Dal cost his son Anurag Singh the Mirzapur ticket. However, he admits the differences are not personal.i
Speaking to The Indian Express at his residence in Khojwan, Varanasi, Singh said, “On issues like social justice I am alone in the party. My firm belief is that UP BJP needs to accommodate every section of the society. Once we are able to do this, nobody can defeat us. Under Kalyan Singh’s leadership this was a reality.”
Their (Om Prakash and Rajnath’s) differences go back several years. Rajnath Singh started his political career from Mirzapur and taught in KB Degree College. Om Prakash Singh taught in Harishchander PG College Varanasi but he was also politically active in Mirzapur and contested elections from Chunar assembly seat. Rajnath Singh is 10 years younger than Om Prakash.
Om Prakash Singh reminds us of a Atal Bihari Vajpayee quote “bade padon par chhote log baithe hain (small people are sitting on big posts).” Though the situation is the same in every party the people expect good things from BJP, he said. Without naming anyone he said, “Agar party me kamiyan badhti jaa rahi hain to iska matlab hai ki us par niyantran karnewale log kamjor hote ja rahe hain (If shortcomings in the party are increasing, it means those controlling it are becoming weak).”
On Rajnath Singh, he said, “As a leader in assembly, whenever I visited Delhi, I always met him. I told him our ideological differences must not turn personal.” Praising Modi’s leadership Singh, 73, said in these elections people have faith in his leadership. “It is not in favour of BJP but in favour of Modi,” he added.