Kalyan Singh lauds Atal for his leadership
Lauding former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee as a leader of principles, former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Kalyan Singh said the country had seen golden days during his leadership and the present United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government should take a lesson from the governance of the National Democratic Alliance(NDA).
Speaking at a function organised at Chowk to celebrate the 88th birthday of Vajpayee yesterday, the former Chief Minister said the Congress-led UPA government was in power on the basis of corruption because it had bought votes of its allies with money while Vajpayee had resigned after he lost the no-confidence motion by just one vote. "He (Vajpayee) never tried to purchase votes," he added.
Mr Singh, who heads Rashtriya Kranti Party, declared that his party would merge with the Bharatiya Janata Party on January 21 at a massive rally to be held in the state capital.
BJP's national president Nitin Gadkari and other senior leaders are also expected to address the rally.
BJP state president Laxmikant Bajpai said Singh's return to the BJP would bolster its prospect in the Lok Sabha election. "The BJP will sweep Uttar Pradesh under the leadership of Kalyan Singh," Mr Bajpai said.
Member of Parliament from Lucknow, Lalji Tandon, described Kalyan Singh as his elder brother who always helped him during thick and thin.
Vajpayee's birthday was celebrated all over the state with fanfare with workers organising seminars and felicitation functions. Sweets and fruits were distributed among the patients in various hospitals of the state.
In Rae Bareli, party spokesperson Vijay Bahadur Pathak flagged off an Atal Su-shashan Yatra. The yatra would cover UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi's parliamentary constituency in the next five days and remind people about good governance during Vajpayee's regime. Addressing another rally in Maharajganj, Mr Pathak said that the UPA government had failed on all fronts. "The Union government has introduced anti-people policies like foreign direct investment (FDI) in retail. This will render retail shopkeepers jobless and deprive farmers of good prices of their produce," he said.