He is expected to contest Lok Sabha election against RLD chief Ajit Singh

In a significant move in view of the political dynamics in western Uttar Pradesh before the general election, former Mumbai Police Commissioner Satyapal Singh on Sunday joined the Bharatiya Janata Party and even shared the dias with the party’s Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi at a rally in Meerut.

While the BJP maintained official silence over his candidature in the Lok Sabha election, party sources told The Hindu the retired officer would stand against the Rashtriya Lok Dal chief Ajit Singh from the Baghpat constituency. This comes at a time when the RLD is trying to save its Jat-Muslim appeal after the Muzaffarnagar riots caused a dent in its traditional vote bank. Mr. Singh, a Jat and a 1980 batch IPS officer belonging to Meerut, could appeal to the Jat community and the Jat lobby in the bureaucracy.

BJP sources also said that Mr. Singh’s entry in the party was facilitated by former BJP president Nitin Gadkari and Maharashtra BJP head Devendra Fadnavis, a move backed by the top RSS leadership.

There are also speculations that the BJP, to corner the RLD further in its home turf, could field a celebrity such as Hema Malini against Ajit Singh’s son Jayant from the Mathura seat.

Recalling that the 1857 revolt against the British had started from Meerut, Mr. Singh, in his short address at the rally, said only 90 days were left for the ‘new revolution,’ a reference to the elections.

Mr. Singh, who has had close relations with the RSS from the time he was Nagpur Police Commissioner and regularly attended functions of the saffron unit, had refused to head the Special Investigation Team formed by the Gujarat HC to investigate the Ishrat Jahan fake encounter case.