Lucknow: With the 2017 assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh approaching, the political equation has started shaping. While addressing Samajwadi Party (SP) workers on the birthday of their senior party leader Bhagwati Singh, SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav said that joining hands with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Kalyan Singh (now Governor of Rajasthan) was a mistake and had cost the party heavily.

“It was because of the damage to the party that I withdrew (my support) later,” Mulayam Singh Yadav explained. Mulayam, however, clarified that he still had cordial relations with Kalyan Singh but the coming together of the two had created a rift within his own party.

Yadav had allied with the former Bharatiya Janata Party leader ahead of the 2009 Lok Sabha elections but the partnership fell apart after SP’s poor performance.

The SP Chief later blamed his colleague and party general secretary Amar Singh for the alliance. However, Kalyan Singh clarified it was Yadav who had sought his help.

The political rivalry of Mulayam Singh Yadav and Kalyan Singh goes back to 1990 when Mulayam Singh Yadav was the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh and he had ordered firing on ‘kar sevaks’ in which many lost their lives. The firing was ordered because attempts were made to demolish the Babri Masjid.

Mulayam Singh in an interview to a news channel in 2013 had said, “the decision was painful” but he had no other option.

Kalyan Singh became the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh in 1991 and then he allegedly gave shape to BJP’s key agenda of that time. The Babri Masjid was demolished on December 6, 1992 followed by riots across the nation.

(With inputs from IANS)

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