Kalyan’s son joins Samajwadi Party

January 21st, 2009 - 6:19 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata PartyLucknow, Jan 21 (IANS) Former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Kalyan Singh’s son Rajvir Singh joined the Samajwadi Party Wednesday, a day after the veteran leader quit the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). “Rajvir Singh’s entry into our party will further reinforce the backward-caste base of our ranks,” Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav told reporters.

He also announced Rajvir Singh will be the party’s national general secretary.

Kalyan Singh, however, did not say if he will join the Samajwadi Party or float his own political outfit as he had done in 1999, when he made his first exit from the BJP.

Terming the development as “no temporary political arrangement”, Yadav asserted: “This is going to be a long-term relationship, that was born out of the old association between me and Kalyan Singh for whom I have great regard.

“Kalyan Singh and I were ministers in the same government (the Janata Party, in the 1970s). While he was the health minister, I was the minister for cooperatives.”

Giving full marks to party general secretary Amar Singh “for making this happen”, Yadav said in reply to a question: “Whether he (Rajvir Singh) will be fielded as a Samajwadi Party nominee at the coming Lok Sabha election would be decided shortly.”

Describing Kalyan Singh as “the voice of the oppressed and deprived classes”, Amar Singh said: “Kalyan Singh’s mission was to crush the BJP, that is bound to further strengthen the agenda of the Samajwadi Party.”

Asked if Kalyan Singh’s image of a hardcore Hindutva leader was not likely to affect the secular credentials of the Samajwadi Party, Amar Singh said: “If leaders like Narayan Rane, Chhagan Bhujbal or Sanjay Nirupam can make a smooth transition from a highly communal Shiv Sena to the Congress, then what is the problem with Kalyan Singh?

“After all. Kalyan Singh has already declared that re-joining the BJP was his biggest mistake in life.”

Dismissing a query about the impact of Wednesday’s development on the Congress-Samajwadi Party electoral tie-up that was still in the pipeline, he said: “There is no reason why this should not make Congress president Sonia Gandhi happy. After all, this is the first step towards weakening BJP.”

Talking to reporters, Rajvir Singh described the new realignment as an “amalgamation of two powers, which was bound to make its impact on the Lok Sabha elections”.

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