Kalyan Singh was born into an OBC (Other Backward Classes) family of Lodhis in Aligarh (Uttar Pradesh). As an OBC belonging to the BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party, Indian People’s Party), he incarnated the party’s attempt to reach out to the Hindu lower castes. He was the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh from June 1991 to December 1992, during the “Babri Masjid/Ramjanmabhoomi controversy”. In June 1991, just after becoming chief minister, he visited Ayodhya and promised that a Ram temple would be built. In October, his government acquired 2.77 acres of land around the Ramjanmabhoomi site, with the bogus aim of promoting tourism. The VHP (Vishwa Hindu had, World Hindu Council) seized this opportunity to lay the foundation of the Ram temple by filling in the area with concrete cement. On 6 December 1992, a Kar Seva (large religious service) was to take place in Ayodhya. Kalyan Singh had claimed that, as chief minister, he would not allow any damage to the Babri Masjid; however, he either did not or could not fulfill his promise. The Babri Masjid was razed to the ground on December 6. Subsequently, President’s rule was imposed. Kalyan Singh became chief minister once again from 1997 to 1999. In spite of being an active member of the BJP, he faced difficulties because of his OBC origins and he left the party in 2009. He then took strange steps and joined Mulayam Singh Yadav. This absurd alliance, which in fact was the outcome of external manipulations, did not prove successful and alienated Muslim voters of the Samajwadi Party (SP). Kalyan Singh eventually launched his own party, the Jan Kranti Party, now run by his son Rajveer Singh.
JAFFRELOT, Christophe. 1996. The Hindu Nationalist Movement and Indian Politics: 1925 to the 1990s, Strategies of identity-building, implantation and mobilisation. London: C. Hurst.