BJP making way for re-entry of Kalyan Singh’s son
Though Rajvir Singh is head of the former UP Chief Minister’s party, he is likely to go back to the parent party
After Uma Bharti’s re-entry in the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), it is looking for more stalwarts to return before the Assembly poll in Uttar Pradesh. And, where it is not possible to have the stalwart, other connections are being sought.
Now, the party is preparing for the induction of former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Kalyan Singh’s son ahead of the Assembly poll. The party insiders say that negotiations to bring Rajvir Singh to the BJP have been going on for a couple of months.
One of the reasons why the BJP is pushing for Rajvir’s entry to the party is the Lodh factor. “We do not expect him to increase our final tally in the next assembly. However, we do not want him to spoil our chances either,” says a BJP insider. The party is of the opinion that if he is kept inside the BJP, he will not be able to make a dent in its Lodh vote bank.
The Lodhs have a substantial influence in 18 to 20 Assembly constituencies spread all over Uttar Pradesh. The community has a sizeable presence in Aligarh, Etah and Saharnpur areas. At one point of time, Kalyan had a major influence over the community, but over the years his appeal in the community has diminished.
Kalyan, however, denies that his son will join the BJP. He says, “This news of Rajvir joining the BJP is 100 per cent wrong.” He added that his party the Jan Kranti Party will contest the election in all constituencies, and within a month it would announce all candidates.
However, political observers feel that it may not impact the fortunes of the BJP in Uttar Pradesh. “We are not witnessing a rise in the fortunes of the BJP. So, Rajvir’s entry in the party will not make any difference,” says Sanjay Kumar of the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies.
Rajvir has always been a shadow of his father and has never been able to rise to his stature. “If you compare Rajvir with other sons of politicians, like Sachin Pilot or Jyotiraditya Scindia, he has no standing,” says a BJP leader from Uttar Pradesh.
Rajvir contested his first election in 2003 from Debai, a constituency dominated by the Lodh caste. He won this seat and was made the health minister in the Mulyam Singh Yadav government. However, his fortunes changed for the worse in 2007, when he lost to the Bahujan Samaj Party candidate Bhagwan Sharma by over 15,000 votes.
Rajvir has always trailed his father in the political field. Kalyan left the BJP in 1999 and floated the Rashtriya Kranti Party. He returned to the BJP in 2004, but quit again in 2009. In January 2009, the Samajwadi Party struck an arrangement with Kalyan to attract the Lodh vote, under which Rajvir joined the Samajwadi Party and was made its general secretary. However, the alliance did not work, as it failed to attract voters in the 2009 General Election. Rajvir quit the Samajwadi Party eleven months after joining it. In 2010 Kalyan launched Jan Kranti Party and made Rajvir its president.
Samarth Saran is a Correspondent with Tehelka.com