Kalyan meets Samajwadi party leaders amid speculation (Lead)

January 19th, 2009 - 12:24 am ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata PartyNew Delhi, Jan 18 (IANS) Bharatiya Janata Party leader Kalyan Singh Sunday met Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav amid speculation that he was planning to quit the BJP again.While what transpired at the meeting was not immediately known, a senior Samajwadi Party leader told IANS: “There are talks going on for some time between him (Kalyan Singh) and our leaders. Kalyan Singh is not feeling comfortable in the BJP.”

Kalyan Singh, a national vice-president of the BJP, is known to be unhappy with the party leadership for announcing Ashok Pradhan as Lok Sabha election candidate from the Bulandshahr constituency in Uttar Pradesh though Pradhan reportedly worked against Kalyan Singh’s son in the 2007 assembly elections.

“Talks are in primary stages and it is not yet clear if Kalyan Singh will quit the BJP, but he is generally being given a short shrift and is open to joining the Samajwadi Party. This much is clear,” the leader said, requesting anonymity.

Kalyan Singh’s son Rajvir Singh fought from Dibai and was also a health minister in the state’s previous Mulayam Singh Yadav government.

The meeting between Kalyan Singh and Samajwadi Party leaders, including its general secretary Amar Singh, took place at Rajvir Singh’s residence in Delhi.

Kalyan Singh, who was thrice chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, is an MP from Bulandshahar but this time he has been allotted the BJP ticket to contest from Etah since Bulandshahar has been converted into a reserved Scheduled Castes seat.

After discussing Kalyan Singh’s anger over the candidate selection, the BJP had formed the view of expelling him from the organisation ahead of its National Council and National Executive meeting in Nagpur next month, BJP sources said.

Kalyan Singh, on his part, has been trying to pre-empt the party, they said.

Despite repeated attempts, Kalyan Singh could not be reached for comments.

Earlier this month, former Indian vice-president Bhairon Singh Shekhawat announced his intention to contest the elections, saying he is senior to BJP’s prime ministerial hopeful L.K. Advani.

This created a flutter in the party since many believe that the octogenarian leader had more acceptability among the BJP’s partners in the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) than Advani.

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