May 18, 2016 12:45:20 am
Three months after his six-year expulsion from the Samajwadi Party got over, Amar Singh seems set to official rejoin the ruling party in Uttar Pradesh —- his path cleared Tuesday after being declared party’s one of the seven candidates for biennial Rajya Sabha elections next month.
While SP claimed the decision on fielding Singh for the Rajya Sabha polls was “unanimous” and that there were “no differences” over his name, sources said party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav’s brother and SP national general secretary Ram Gopal Yadav and senior UP minister Azam Khan are still “not convinced” about the decision. The two leaders, sources said, are bound to create trouble for Mulayam, who over last six years has often openly expressed how he misses Singh’s political acumen and expertise.
Sources said that it was his bitter relations with Azam and Ram Gopal that had led to Singh’s expulsion from SP. The expulsion period of six years had got over in February this year, but SP did not make any move for re-inducting him even as he frequently kept meeting Mulayam and Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, especially over the past two years.
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Singh had started working on revival of his political career with SP almost two years ago when he shared stage with Mulayam during inauguration of the Janeshwar Mishra Park in Lucknow on August 5, 2014. This had come soon after Singh and actor-turned politician Jaya Prada, who too was expelled with him, contested the Lok Sabha polls that year as Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) candidates from Fatehpur Sikri and Bijnor, respectively, and lost.
Despite himself inviting the expelled leader to the Lucknow event, Mulayam had avoided any direct interaction with Singh, who, however, in his five-minute speech had stated that “as per your definition of Samajwadi, I am not a Samajwadi but I am Mulayamwadi.”
Akhilesh was present at the event, but Ram Gopal and Azam had stayed away. Their absence was being attributed to Singh’s presence.
Only two weeks later, on August 19, Singh called on Mulayam at his residence in Lucknow. After an-hour long meeting, Mulayam took him to the nearby party state headquarters where Akhilesh joined them. The next month, Singh had a closed-door three-hour meeting with Mulayam at latter’s residence in New Delhi. There were speculations then that SP may help him in getting Rajya Sabha berth as his third term in the Upper House was ending in November that same year. But, SP did not make any such move.
In November, Singh met BJP’s UP in-charge Om Mathur in Delhi, but nothing materialised. BJP had later dismissed the meeting saying that Singh “was looking for his next political destination”.
Singh again met Mulayam in Lucknow last year in July. Mulayam took him to an Iftar party hosted by Akhilesh at his official residence and both shared stage too.
Singh, who remained in the political wilderness, continued to meet the Yadav family terming them as his ‘parivar’. He later attended the mega bash organised in Saifai to celebrate 76th birthday of Mulayam on November 22 last year. Jaya Prada was also present at the event.
In January this year, Mulayam made a public statement saying that Singh may not be in the party but he lives in his heart. A month later, Singh made his presence felt at a government event when he attended the swearing-in ceremony of Lokayukta Justice (retd) Sanjay Mishra at Raj Bhavan.
Sources said that during past one month, Singh met Mulayam and Akhilesh several times in Lucknow and Delhi and every time he termed the meetings as “personal”.
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