In UP, Ajit Singh had met Uddhav's fate in 1989

Ajit Singh

Like the Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray, for Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) leader Ajit Singh also the post of chief minister of Uttar Pradesh in 1989 had appeared to be so close yet so far. 

It was Samajwadi Party (SP) patron Mulayam Singh Yadav, who then headed Lok Dal (B), and whose party had contested the 1989 Assembly polls in the state in alliance with Janata Party, Lok Dal (A) and Jan Morcha.

All these four parties had merged and formed the Janata Dal. 

The alliance had secured 208 seats and needed barely five more for an absolute majority in the house, whose strength then was 425.

V P Singh, who was the leader of Jan Morcha and was the prime minister, had declared before the Assembly polls that Ajit Singh would be the chief minister if the alliance formed its government. Mulayam was projected as the deputy chief minister.

Mulayam, however, staked claim on the post of CM after the polls and managed to engineer defections in Lok Dal (A) of Ajit Singh winning some of his MLAs.

It was then decided that voting would take place to decide who the CM would be. With the defected MLAs Mulayam emerged winner by merely five votes.

Uddhav Thackeray like Ajit Singh was pipped to the post by Ajit Pawar. 

The old timers said that Ajit Singh could have become CM but for the dilly-dallying on the part of V P Singh.

"This time too if the Congress had acted fast, there could have been a Cong-NCP-Shiv Sena government in Maharashtra today," remarked a veteran UP Congress leader here.

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