New Delhi, Feb 10 (PTI) To compare the legacy of Chaudhary Charan Singh with a "small election" of 2024 is belittling him, Rashtriya Lok Dal leader Jayant Singh said, refusing to spill beans over the said "deal" between his party and the BJP.
He was asked about speculations of the RLD joining the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) and switching over from the INDIA bloc after Bharat Ratna was announced for his grandfather.
"If you compare a small election of 2024 with the great legacy of Chaudhary Charan Singh, you are belittling him and insulting his supporters. It is an insult to an honour like Bharat Ratna," Singh said.
Asked about the allegations of a "deal" between RLD and BJP, he said, "The process of deciding on Bharat Ratna is a pious process. The government takes decisions in the interest of the nation, keeping in mind people's sentiment... 37 years after his death, a government thought of honouring him. If they are seeing something wrong with this and if they think there is a transaction, it shows their ideological decline." Asked what went wrong with the Samajwadi Party, he said it is an "internal matter", adding that he will explain later why he changed his stand.
"Those are internal matters, based on trust. Whatever discussions took place between me and Akhilesh ji, I will not discuss it outside... When our alliance is decided and announced, I will be able to tell why I changed my stand and the way ahead," he said.
On his earlier remarks that he will not "flip like a coin", Singh said there should be an "expiry date" to remarks.
"This used to happen earlier as well, but earlier the records were not available all the time. In the times of internet, you can also see my statements from 20 years ago when I fought with the support of the BJP and became an MP from Mathura. There is an expiry date to statements, something was said during poll campaign... Amit Shah had said something about me, I said something to keep my people together. I did not intend to insult him, nor did he take it personally. Otherwise, would Chaudhary sahab get a Bharat Ratna?" he said.
"I am responsible for Lok Dal. My responsibility is to see how I can do better for my people and how I can help farmers. I will take a decision based on that," he added.
The remarks come amid speculations of the RLD joining BJP-led NDA ahead of the general elections. Singh on Saturday praised the Modi government for honouring his grandfather and former prime minister Chaudhary Charan Singh with Bharat Ratna.
On Friday, after the announcement that Bharat Ratna will be conferred on Singh, Singh had said "Dil jeet liya (They have won my heart)". PTI AO AO KSS KSS KSS KSS