Sandbagged by Coalition

Alliance between former chief minister of UP and BJP heavy weight Kalyan Singh and Samajwadi party president Mulayam Singh Yadav gives the saffron party and BSP sleepless nights

Pradeep Kapoor Lucknow

The newly formed alliance between the former chief minister of UP and BJP national vice-president Kalyan Singh and Samajwadi party president Mulayam Singh Yadav is giving nightmares to both the BJP as well as the BSP.

Saying that the BJP leadership had ‘ignored' and ‘humiliated' him, Kalyan Singh has made it clear that it would be his top priority to see the party defeated in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. He predicts that BJP would not clinch more than five seats from UP, against the current scenario of 10 sitting MP's from the state.

Kalyan Singh has always been considered the undisputed leader of the backward castes, and holds significant command over the Lodh Rajputs. His influence extends in six big districts of UP, including Hamirpur, Jalaun, Etah, Farukhhabad, Hathras, Aligarh and Bulandshahr.

It would be worth mentioning here that differences between the BJP and Kalyan Singh cropped up after the party gave its ticket to Ashok Pradhan from Bulandshahr. Singh blamed Pradhan for the defeat of his son Rajbir Singh in the last assembly elections. Kalyan wanted the party to change Pradhan's ticket.

The BJP leadership, in its efforts to appease Singh, decided to give the prestigious ticket of Rajya Sabha to Kusum Rai, who is a close lieutenant of the former chief minister. But Singh boycotted all party meetings in protest. Earlier also, in 1999, he had left BJP, which had caused considerable damage to the party's standing in many constituencies in the elections.

In tying up with Mulayam Singh Yadav, Singh would ensure that his son Rajbir contests the forthcoming parliamentary elections on a SP ticket. This is likely to affect the BJP and BSP in many constituencies. But Kalyan Singh's exit from BJP would also pave way for a possible Rashtriya Lok Dal-BJP pact. It was only due to Singh's fervent opposition that the saffron party could not form an alliance with RLD. It is also a known fact that Kalyan Singh had always opposed BSP and it was only under pressure from party high command that he had agreed for a coalition government in the past.

Still, while on one hand Mulayam Singh Yadav has hailed Kalyan Singh as great friend and leader, he cannot forget that the Babri mosque was demolished when Singh was heading the BJP government in 1992. Similarly Congress leaders are also feeling uncomfortable which is evident from the AICC general secretary Digvijay Singh's recent statement. Yet, political analysts feel that this rainbow coalition of Samajwadi Party and Congress, strengthened by the support of Kalyan Singh would sweep the polls and shatter Mayawati's dreams of coming to power at the Centre.