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Posted on Nov 09, 10:12AM | IANS
Putting to rest a long-standing debate on who was instrumental in stitching up a controversial alliance with the Samajwadi Party (SP) a few years ago, Rashtriya Kranti Party (RKP) leader Kalyan Singh said it was SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav who had asked him to help the party "in times of crisis".
Contrary to popular belief, propagated by Mulayam Singh himself that former SP general secretary Amar Singh brought the erstwhile BJP leader close to the SP, Kalyan Singh told IANS that "Mulayam had come to my house in New Delhi seeking my support and help to revive his sagging political fortunes".
"When I told him that our political DNA did not match and that there was no question of joining his party, Mulayam asked me to instead give him my son Raju (Rajveer Singh) and pleaded that I should not let him go from his door empty-handed," said the 80-year-old three-time Uttar Pradesh chief minister.
He added that even during the assimilation of his son Rajveer, whom both Mulayam and Amar Singh had come to escort, he chose not to go to the SP office at Vikramaditya Marg.
Asked about the general perception that it was Amar Singh who brought him close to the SP chief, Kalyan Singh answered in the negative and said that while Amar Singh had accompanied him in the two meetings they had, the "proposal came from Mulayam Singh".
Venting his ire on the SP chief, Kalyan Singh said he is a man who spares no one to further his political ambitions.
He admitted that going with the SP for a brief period was a wrong decision, something which he regretted in hindsight.
Accusing the state government run by Mulayam Singh's son Akhilesh Yadav of failing on all fronts, Kalyan Singh said he found it strange that the chief minister was complaining that some of his officials were conspiring against the SP government.
"Is this the way a chief minister should behave? The bureaucracy is like a horse, it moves by the spurs of the rider," he said.
Rating the performance of the seven-month-old Uttar Pradesh government Kalyan Singh said Mulayam Singh had already said that a lot needed to be improved. He also accused the father-son duo of minority appeasement and warned that this vote-bank politics was detrimental for the state.
"When the constitution says we are a secular state, why do leaders like Mulayam behave like this, favouring one community and overlooking the interests of others," Kalyan Singh asked.
He also said that Mulayam Singh was never serious about the welfare of the minorities. "Everyone knows that when the Congress comes to power, a price hike is imminent and when the SP comes to power, hooliganism is going to happen."
(Mohit Dubey can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)