The former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister, Kalyan Singh, virtually signalled his retirement from politics on Tuesday when he handed over the reins of his new political outfit, Jan Kranti Party, to his son Rajveer Singh, who was named the national president.

The party’s launch coincided with Mr. Kalyan Singh’s birthday.

“The formation of the party puts an end to speculation and heralds the handing over of the baton to the youth. The party will have a new flag and a new agenda,” Mr. Kalyan Singh said.

In a brief interaction with the media, Mr. Kalyan Singh, an Independent MP from Etah, said his role in the party would be that of a patron. He would tour all districts, along with Mr. Rajveer Singh, keeping in view the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections scheduled for 2012. He would visit Ayodhya on Wednesday for a ‘darshan’ of Ram ‘lalla.’

Mr. Kalyan Singh said the launch of the new party fulfilled the desires of his supporters, who felt that instead of their joining any other party it was better to have a party of their own.

However, Mr. Kalyan Singh refused to comment when asked whether the projection of his son as party president meant that he was retiring from politics. “Raju Bhaiyya [Mr. Rajveer Singh] will answer all the queries.”

Mr. Rajveer Singh said the party’s ideology would revolve around Hindutva and nationalism. It would strive for the uplift of villages, poor and farmers and ensure that women were given the due respect. Right to work and social justice were the party’s other priorities. It would contest all 403 seats on its own in the Assembly elections. The party organisation would be constituted in three months.

He termed the BJP a “dead party.” The Ram temple issue, which was used as a tool by the other parties, should be divorced from politics, he said

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