Mulayam ignored warnings on Kalyan, says Azam Khan

Lucknow, Nov 20 ( Samajwadi Party (SP) president Mulayam Singh Yadav had repeatedly ignored warnings about the potential harm that his bonhomie with Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) rebel Kalyan Singh would cause to him and his party, rebel party leader Azam Khan said Friday.

Once a confidant of Mulayam Yadav, Khan sought to blame it all on party leader Amar Singh’s “total dominance in the party”. According to him, “Amar Singh virtually blindfolded Mulayam Singh against the harsh reality of how the Kalyan factor would affect SP’s prospects”.

Yet another SP leader told IANS on the condition of anonymity that it was Amar Singh’s “grand idea” to get Kalyan Singh into the SP fold because he was desperate to ensure colleague and actor Jaya Prada’s win from Rampur Lok Sabha seat in this year’s general election.

Kalyan Singh and the SP last week parted ways. His son Rajveer Singh quit as national general secretary and from the primary membership of the party.

According to the SP leader, Amar Singh feared that Azam Khan, who was opposed to Jaya Prada, would take away a chunk of Muslim votes. So Kalyan Singh’s need was felt since he would be able to swing Lodh votes for the party since he was a senior leader in the community.

Azam Khan, like many Muslims in Uttar Pradesh, held Kalyan Singh responsible for the 1992 razing of the Babri mosque in Ayodhya. Kalyan Singh was then the BJP chief minister in the state.

The Samajwadi Party source said that Mulayam Singh failed to see the difference in the size of the Muslim and Lodh electorate. “Even at that time, I was shocked to find Mulayam Singhji failing to see the ground reality, but there was none who could bell the cat.”

What followed was a natural corollary.

While Jaya Prada won from Rampur, the SP’s political graph went down across the rest of Uttar Pradesh. Yet Mulayam Yadav could not see the harm caused to his party on account of his new found love for Kalyan Singh.

But the defeat of his daughter-in-law Dimple in this month’s Lok Sabha by-election in Firozabad — the seat was won by the Congress — compelled the Samajwadi Party chief to open his eyes.

“The loss of a parliament seat vacated by his own son Akhilesh, who had won two Lok Sabha seats in May, was a major blow to Mulayam Yadav, who had fielded none other than his own daughter-in-law. What was worse was that the SP also lost the Bhartana assembly seat vacated by Mulayam himself,” the party leader pointed out.