Lucknow: Former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Kalyan Singh on Tuesday marked his 77th birthday by announcing the formation of his new Jan Kranti Party (JKP), which will have a "new agenda" and would be led by his son Rajvir Singh.
While Kalyan Singh, who had left the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) twice, did not elaborate on the "new agenda" and evaded media questions on whether the party will follow "Hindutva", Rajvir Singh said "Hindutva would definitely be the party's ideology. In fact, both Hindutva and nationalism would be our ideology."
"We will even try to induct Hindutva leaders like Uma Bharti in our party and all those who favour our ideology," he added.
Kalyan Singh said he would work as "a patron" of the party, which would be led by "new generation". "I will work as a patron to strengthen the new party that would be led by Rajvir Singh alias Raju Bhaiyya."
"I formed JKP as it was the suggestion of thousand of my workers, who wanted I should never join any political outfit and float a new political party. Today, on my birthday I want to end all speculations that indicate I may join a political party... I will not do so and continue to work for JKP," he said.
"After consulting thousands of party workers it was decided that the party should be led by a new generation. So, Rajvir would lead the party as its national president," Kalyan Singh said but declined to comment whether his decision to work just as a patron of the JKP indicated he no longer wants to indulge in active politics.
Spelling out his priorities, he said, "Expanding my party's base so that we can contest the upcoming Vidhan Sabha (state assembly) elections is top on my priority. For this, I will start touring parts of Uttar Pradesh."
"Tomorrow, I, along with Rajvir and others will visit Ayodhya and pay obeisance to Lord Ram," said Kalyan Singh, who was chief minister when the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya was brought down by Hindu zealots in 1992.
Kalyan Singh had left the BJP in 1999, floating the Rashtriya Kranti Party.
He worked in tandem with Mulayam Singh Yadav's Samajwadi Party, even supporting him when he became the chief minister, but returned to the BJP fold just before the 2004 Lok Sabha elections.
However, in January 2009, he left the BJP again, and was associated with the Samajwadi Party during the 2009 general elections.
Speaking on the JKP priorities, Rajvir Singh said the party will mainly work for the uplift of the poor, slum-dwellers, women empowerment and social justice.
Asked whether it will work for construction of Ram temple in Ayodhya, Rajvir said: "Though we want the temple should be constructed, we also want the issue should not be politicised... There should be no politics over the temple's construction."