Kalyan meets Mulayam, triggers speculation in BJP

New Delhi, Jan 18 (IANS) Senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader Kalyan Singh Sunday met Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav amid speculation that he was contemplating 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.”

Support TwoCircles

Kalyan Singh, a national vice-president of the BJP, is known to be angry with the party leadership for announcing Ashok Pradhan as candidate for Lok Sabha elections from the Bulandshahar 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 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.

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.