|HOME | NEWS | REPORT|
November 26, 1999
Mulayam ready to join hands with Kalyan
Tara Shankar Sahay in New Delhi
In a significant development, Samajwadi Party president Mulayam Singh Yadav has shown a willingness to join hands with Bharatiya Janata Party rebel Kalyan Singh if the latter abandons his Ram Mandir plank, highly placed sources in government said today.
The sources told rediff.com that intelligence reports from Aligarh yesterday had revealed that Mulayam Singh had established contact with the ousted Uttar Pradesh chief minister.
Yadav reportedly told Kalyan Singh that the two could work wonders on backward-caste politics in the state. But this would be possible only if the BJP politician dropped his demand to construct a Ram temple in Ayodhya on the site where the Babri Masjid once stood.
"Right now we cannot say what Kalyan Singh's reply to Mulayam Singh was, but we have reason to believe he is playing for time. In any case, he did not reject the proposal outright," the sources said.
They indicated that Singh had given ample hints to his supporters that he would shortly form an OBC front that would become a "melting pot" of like-minded backward-class politicians in Uttar Pradesh.
They said that from the day Kalyan Singh had relinquished the chief ministership, he has been "shadowed" and the government is monitoring all his activities.
Significantly, Singh left Lucknow yesterday as soon as Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee landed there. Singh, after fuming against Vajpayee, made his way to New Delhi and sought an appointment with Union Home Minister Lal Kishenchand Advani.
"Yes, it is a fact that Kalyan Singh sought an appointment with the home minister, but we cannot confirm whether he eventually got it," the sources said. They, however, believed it was a ploy by Singh to confuse the party leadership.
For its part, the BJP's central leadership does not appear to be surprised by Singh's broadside against Vajpayee. But the routine BJP briefing in New Delhi today was cancelled, indicating that the high command had taken serious note of his defiance. The sources said senior politicians would be meeting in Delhi later tonight to debate the matter.
This was all but confirmed by senior general secretary K N Govindacharya while speaking informally to a small group of reporters at the party headquarters. He said Singh's utterances had been taken note of. "This is simply not done," he said. "The person in question has to give a plausible answer or face the consequences."
Govindacharya also clarified that Kalyan Singh had not been removed by the prime minister. The troika of Vajpayee, Advani and party chief Shashikant 'Kushabhau' Thakre had taken the decision.
A BJP vice-president who is not a member of the Lok Sabha said, "We are still watching the situation. At this juncture we do not want to comment." But he added that partymen challenging the prime minister had to be very clear that such moves were an invitation for disciplinary action.
He pointed out that Singh's claim in Aligarh that he had been hanged without fair trial while those responsible for the party's dismal electoral performance in Uttar Pradesh were ensconced in lofty positions in Delhi and Lucknow was being interpreted as deliberate defiance of and insult to the prime minister.
Vajpayee himself has sought to play down the controversy, saying that the entire party, including he, was responsible for the poor show. But angry party politicians are demanding that Singh "be booted out of the party since he is deliberately inviting expulsion".
ELECTION 99 |
SINGLES | BOOK SHOP | MUSIC SHOP | HOTEL RESERVATIONS | MONEY
EDUCATION | PERSONAL HOMEPAGES | FREE EMAIL | FEEDBACK