Lucknow: Is former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Kalyan Singh set to return to the BJP? Both the Bharatiya Janata Party and the saffron face of the Ram temple movement of the 1990s are quiet about his comeback. But close aides say it is near certain that "Babuji", as Kalyan Singh is known, will be in the BJP again.

A leader privy to the confabulations told that the only thing to be decided was the timing and the role for the octogenarian leader. Kalyan Singh reportedly had fruitful meetings with the BJP brass in New Delhi, including party president Nitin Gadkari.

"There is considerable forward movement as far as satisfying the demands of Kalyan Singh is concerned," a BJP leader told. His arch rival and former BJP president Rajnath Singh too is on board this time round.

Tallest pro-Hindutva OBC face

The tallest pro-Hindutva OBC face of the party in Uttar Pradesh, Kalyan Singh is also looking for a resurrection of his son Rajbeer Singh's political fortunes. Rajbeer Singh lost the state election this year.

Kalyan Singh is known to be a family man, so much so that he tagged along the Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav to establish his son. Rajbeer Singh became a minister in the Mulayam government in 2003.

BJP insiders say the groundwork for Kalyan Singh's return was done by Uma Bharti, who had sided with him even when he was attacking former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and other BJP leaders.

Uma Bharti has networked with Gadkari to bring back Kalyan Singh and cement the one-time OBC vote bank with the larger Hindutva support base. BJP leaders, specially Kalraj Mishra and Lalji Tandon, both cabinet ministers in the two governments of Kalyan Singh in Uttar Pradesh, have reportedly fallen in line vis-a-vis Kalyan Singh.

With Vajpayee out of active politics owing to ill health, Lalji Tandon is happy to be an MP from Lucknow and does not harbour any larger ambitions, an insider says. Kalraj Mishra, now a first time legislator, is also said to be “okay” with Kalyan Singh's return as long as his honour and seniority in the BJP is not affected.

JKP saw rout in the UP assembly polls


All 208 candidates of Kalyan Singh's Jan Kranti Party (JKP) lost in the Uttar Pradesh polls. Son Rajbeer was defeated in Debai in Bulandshahr and daughter-in-law Premlata in Atrauli in Aligarh.

The JKP leader will meet his party's rank and file in Lucknow Oct 5 where he is likely to discuss the BJP offer which came his way through Vinay Katiyar after the Surajkund BJP national conclave.

Kalyan Singh left the BJP in December 1999 after sharp differences between him and the national leadership, especially Vajpayee.

Kalyan Singh was mired in many controversies, including his closeness to Kusum Rai, a party corporator and now a Rajya Sabha MP.

After a gap of five years he returned to the party fold in 2004 and was a BJP candidate from Bulandshahr. Then, after five years again, he left the party, after his nominees were denied ticket to contest.

He sprang a surprise when he teamed up with the Samajwadi Party, contested as an independent from Etah and won. His son went on to become a minister in Mulayam Yadav's cabinet. He was soon disgruntled with the Yadav chieftain and snapped ties.

(Agencies)


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