Hindutava icon Kalyan Singh to lead BJP in 2017 UP poll?

Luckonw,Deepak Gidwani: BJP’s Ayodhya “hero” Kalyan Singh could come to the party’s rescue once again, leading the saffron brigade in the 2017 electoral battle in UP. The two-time former UP chief minister is at present the Governor of Rajasthan.


However, the wily backward leader chose Lucknow to celebrate his 84thbirthday over the hallowed portals of the Raj Bhavan at Jaipur. The large number of party leaders making a beeline to wish him lends credence to reports that he is likely to return for another innings in active politics.

“Babu ji (as Kalyan is known fondly among his followers) is the perfect choice for the UP election,” says a senior BJP leader pointing out that the saffron party was all set to fire up the Ayodhya issue once again in view of the Assembly poll.

Also, the BJP has no one to challenge regional satraps like Akhilesh Yadav and Mayawati. Besides, given PM Narendra Modi’s alleged odd equation with Union home minister Rajnath Singh, also a former UP CM, Kalyan Singh could be the Hobson’s choice for the BJP in UP.

Though gubernatorial protocol prevents him from voicing his yearning for electoral politics, Kalyan’s guarded utterances would bare his heart to any one with the least political acumen.

“It is ultimately the party which makes the decision,” he says when asked about the chances of his returning to active politics in UP in the near future. More significantly, he adds: “I didn’t want to be a Governor either. But I accepted when the party decided.”

Asked who could be the BJP’s choice for CM’s post in UP, he just says: “I can’t name any one person as some others might feel bad.” Pestered further to name his personal choice, he said: “Party’s choice is my choice.”

Kalyan has been a formidable force to reckon with in his prime, given his strong following among the non-Yadav backwards. Due to his Ayodhya credentials, he enjoys ready acceptability among upper castes, too.

Soon after the 2014 election in which Modi was swept to power, Kalyan had initially refused the gubernatorial assignment bargaining instead for a Union ministry for his son, Etah MP Rajveer Singh ‘Raju’. Later, he gave up and remained ensconced in the Jaipur Raj Bhavan. Now, it seems, his time has come to don the political mantle once again for a fresh shot at electoral glory.