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Baghpat Jat clasps kamal - The Observer

Suresh Nautiyal ()
January 3, 1998

Title: Baghpat Jat clasps kamal
Author: Suresh Nautiyal
Publication: The Observer
Date: January 3, 1998

What would a hardcore Jat politician do if he is dubbed as a
'desk politician'? Try to remodel the impression. Som Pal,
former RJD Rajya Sabha member, is one such politician wishing to
do away with such a stigma.

As an essential corollary of this, the staunch follower of former
Prime Minister V P Singh, decided to resign from the Rajya Sabha
as he was elected on the JD ticket. "I wanted to clean my slate
before taking decision to join the BJP," he explains.

Broadly speaking, both decisions of quitting the RJD and joining
the BJP were based on politics.

"Looking at the ground realities in UP, especially my
constituency of Baghpat, and also keeping a look at the emerging
national scenario, I found the BJP the real mainstream political
party. Hence, this decision."

Ultimately, he joined a 'larger movement' at the national level
after several splits in the JD, which according to him has lost
its original sheen.

"In the JD, there is no leader like V P Singh who could act as a
ladder. So, the party no more remains a viable political force,"
he argues.

"The RJD has also failed to come up to the aspiration of the
people."

He is well prepared to challenge the 'uncrowned prince of
Baghpat' Ajit Singh, who has been representing the constituency
since 1989.

His foray began into politics when he contested UP Assembly's
election in 1985 against Chaudhary Charan Singh's daughter and
lost.

After his defeat, he came close to V P Singh at a time when he
was expelled from the Congress after he resigned as Defence
Minister. When V P Singh formed the Jan Morcha, Pal joined in.

Subsequently, he got elected to the Rajya Sabha in March 1990 and
was re-elected in July 1992. When the JD split took place on
account of intra party election, he preferred to go along with
Laloo Yadav, who founded the RJD. He is sure of winning the
Baghpat seat. He was born at Kakor Kalan village of Chhaprauli
block in Meerut district.

MA in Economics, Pal has a good understanding of economy. He
feels India needs a sensitive Prime Minister who accords priority
to lowest strata of society.

An avid reader of books on religion and philosophy, he considers
dharma different from religion in the strict sense. "Our dharma
does not commensurate with religion. Our dharma is a basic duty
borne out of a natural propensity and sensitivity towards all
other entities, be it humans or animals, or inanimated objects.
It is a code of conduct of all humans. Also, our dharma does not
brook any communalism."

Pal is a prolific actor in the political drama. However, now it
is to be seen whether this political adventurist is able to
conquer Baghpat.


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