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PM to Rajnath, Nadda to Yogi, Kalyan Singh has company in hospital

The 89-year-old, who briefly exited the BJP, has been on the sidelines in the party for a while now. In 2014, he was virtually retired by the Modi government with appointment as Rajasthan Governor.

IN THE five days that Kalyan Singh has been in hospital here, BJP president J P Nadda has come down from Delhi to visit him, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has been over twice, Union minister Rajnath Singh has come calling, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi has phoned in to check up on his health.

With elections round the corner in Uttar Pradesh, as the BJP does caste maths to rally support (including in the recent Union Cabinet reshuffle), Kalyan, the former CM of UP, the prominent Lodh leader and one of the BJP’s preeminent Ram temple movement faces, finds himself the focus of special attention.

The 89-year-old, who briefly exited the BJP, has been on the sidelines in the party for a while now. In 2014, he was virtually retired by the Modi government with appointment as Rajasthan Governor. Last year, he was hospitalised for a month after contracting Covid-19.

As the flurry of recent visits sets off intense speculation, both the Sanjay Gandhi Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences where Kalyan is admitted as well as his relatives clarified that his condition was stable and he was improving. Among the visitors has been senior BJP leader and one of its Muslim faces, Shahnawaz Hussain.

In his tweet Friday, Modi said speaking with Kalyan had always been a “learning experience” for him and said he was touched by the fact that the former CM had “remembered me” during his conversation with Nadda the day earlier. The PM also wished Kalyan speedy recovery and said he had spoken to his grandson and enquired about his health.

“I was deeply touched to know that during his conversation with JP Nadda ji, Kalyan Singh ji remembered me. I also have many memories of my interactions with Kalyan Singh ji. Several of those memories came back to life. Talking to him has always been a learning experience… Countless people across India are praying for the speedy recovery of Kalyan Singh ji,” Modi tweeted.

It was while Kalyan was the CM that the Babri Masjid was demolished in Ayodhya. One of the accused in the case along with leaders like L K Advani, he was later acquitted by court like the others. His grandson Sandeep Singh is an MLA from Atrauli in UP and a minister in the Adityanath government.

Kalyan is believed to still wield influence in the state, especially in the western region, and the new-found attention to him coincides with the Modi government building the Ram temple in Ayodhya. Adityanath refers to it constantly as one of the major achievements of the BJP governments at the state and Centre.

In a statement, Kalyan’s grandson Sandeep Singh urged well-wishers not to fall to rumours. “Babuji (as Kalyan is referred to generally) is healthy and will soon come back home from hospital with the love, affection and blessings of all,” he said.

In a release Friday morning, the hospital said that while Kalyan continues to be in the ICU, his condition is better. “He is hemodynamically stable… showing consistent improvement. His vital parameters are stable,” it said. Director D K Dhiman said Kalyan was interacting with the ICU staff as well as his relatives.

The hospital added that he was being treated by senior faculty members of Critical Care Medicine, Cardiology, Neurology, Endocrinology and Nephrology departments.

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