Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav warmly ushered estranged Bhartiya Janata Party veteran Kalyan Singh's son Rajvir Singh into his party on Wednesday.
Besides showering praises on him, Mulayam also bestowed Rajvir with a key office of national general secretary.
The formal induction of the junior Singh followed a prolonged meeting between Kalyan and Mulayam and his lieutenant Amar Singh, at the disgruntled BJP leader's residence.
Evidently in a discreet move, Kalyan chose to keep himself away from any formal association with SP -- at least for the time being. He had already made it loud and clear before mediapersons that he had no intentions of floating any new political party like in 1999, when he made his first exit from the saffron party.
It was another matter that his previous venture did not last -- despite an alliance with Mulayam's SP, and Kalyan returned to the BJP fold barely four years later in 2004.
With Kalyan having now openly termed his return to the BJP fold as his biggest mistake in life, the son's switch over to SP was a clear signal that he had now reached a point of no return.
Mulayam and Amar Singh too did not miss the opportunity to hail Rajvir's entry into the SP as a mark of reinforcement of the backward caste base of the party.
Mulayam asserted that this was not temporary political arrangement but the beginning of a long-term relationship.
He went on to recall, "Kalyan Singh ji and I have been ministers in the same government (1977, Janata Party); while he was the health minister, I was the minister for cooperatives."
Attributing all credit to Amar Singh for the latest bonding, Mulayam further said that whether Rajvir would be fielded as a SP nominee at the coming Lok Sabha elections would be decided shortly.
The SP chief was aware that it was the unfulfilled demand for a BJP ticket for Rajvir from a particular constituency that led Kalyan to make an exit from BJP, even though his demand for a Rajya Sabha berth to his controversial protégé Kusum Rai was conceded.
Meanwhile, describing Kalyan Singh as the voice of the oppressed and deprived classes, Amar Singh declared that Kalyan Singh's mission was to crush the BJP, which is bound to strengthen the agenda of the Samajwadi Party.
Asked if Kalyan Singh's hardcore communal image would affect the secular credentials of Mulayam's SP, Amar shot back, saying: "if leaders like Narayan Rane, Chhagan Bhujbal or Sanjay Nirupam (in Maharashtra) can make a smooth transition from a highly communal Shiv Sena into the Congress, then what is the problem with Kalyan Singh?"
"After all Kalyan Singh has already declared that re-joining the BJP was his biggest mistake in life; now what more do you want?" Amar added.
Dismissing another query about the impact of the KalyanMulayam alliance on the Congress-SP electoral pact that was still in the pipeline, he said, "there is no reason why this should not make Congress President Sonia Gandhi happy; after all this is the first step towards weakening the BJP."
Kalyan too did not leave any stone unturned to repay the Mulayam-Amar duo in equal terms .
"Like Chanakya, Amar Singh is a pivot of the Samajwadi Party and our trimurti will change the course of UP's political destiny," remarked Kalyan.
Rajvir described the new re-alignment as an amalgamation of two powers, which was bound to make its impact on the Lok Sabha elections three months from now.