| Kalyan: Open and shut case
Lucknow, April 27: Former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Kalyan Singh has admitted having met BJP leaders Dinanath Mishra, Balbir Punj and Gurumurthy, but ruled out the possibility of his return to the party.
“There is no question of my returning to the BJP, which is a dying party,” he asserted.
On whether he would change his mind if Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee personally requested him, Singh said: “That is a hypothetical question and I will not answer it.”
It was Singh’s public criticism of Vajpayee and his supporters that had led to the former chief minister’s expulsion from the party in 1998. Singh then floated the Rashtriya Kranti Party (RKP), which won only five seats in the 2002 Assembly elections but cut substantially into the BJP’s vote bank and accounted for its loss in over 70 seats.
Singh joined hands with Samajwadi Party leader Mulayam Singh Yadav to forge a united front against Mayavati, after the BJP entered into a coalition with the Bahujan Samaj Party in Uttar Pradesh.
Singh told The Telegraph that the three BJP leaders had met him on April 22. “They had come to visit me as old friends and I cannot divulge the details of the talks. We spoke on various issues, but there is no question of my returning to the BJP,” he said.
The day the BJP expelled him, it had “signed its death warrant”, asserted the RKP founder. “From being a frontrunner in Uttar Pradesh, it has become the number-three party and is rapidly losing its base at the national level, too. Why should I return to such a party'” he asked.
Singh predicted that the BJP would soon lose whatever remained of its base in Uttar Pradesh because of its alliance with BSP leader Mayavati. “The BJP leaders are under the illusion that the BSP would contest the Lok Sabha elections with them. The countdown has already begun for the Mayavati government and I feel that this government is breathing its last,” he said.
Singh said Mayavati had ordered an inquiry against him and his party’s legislator, Kripal Singh, for alleged misuse of the MLA’s fund. “I am ready for a probe but I want similar probes to be ordered against all 403 MLAs. Why have Opposition MLAs been singled out'” he asked.
“The chief minister should have the courage to publish a white paper on the use of MLAs’ funds and all legislators should be brought under the purview of the probe,” he said.
The former chief minister said the politics of vendetta would not only ruin Mayavati but would also prove hazardous for the state.