The gulf between Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav and his disgruntled protege Amar Singh widened Monday with the latter declaring that he would now try to become a true “Samajwadi” than a “Mulayamwadi”.
Barely an hour after Mulayam Singh at press conference in Lucknow termed Singh, who quit all party posts, as a “part of history”, Amar Singh addressed a press conference in New Delhi.
Asked to comment on Mulayam Singh’s remark, the former powerful party general secretary shot back: “Well, I can imagine him treating me as a thing of the past because I am of no use to him because of my poor health.”
Sarcastically, he remarked: “Let him bring in healthy people like Azam Khan (who was expelled from the SP after a tiff with Mulayam Singh). Physically invalid people like me are ready to be dumped.”
Singh was accompanied by actor Sanjay Dutt at the press conference.
Amar Singh also declared that he has ambitious plans for a political makeover under some new banner. Asked about the contradiction in his statement that while he was resigning on health grounds he was also planning a month-long hectic schedule to tour various towns in Uttar Pradesh, he quipped, “well, I would be taking rest in between.”
He added: “In any case, it was not a 24X7 job that I had as an office-bearer all along.”
Amar Singh listed out a series of political programmes he was planning to participate in at various places, including Rampur, Mathura and Ghazipur.
“I am seriously concerned about the prevailing state of affairs in Uttar Pradesh and, therefore, while remaining a loyal Samajwadi Party worker, I will propagate trifurcation of UP and formation of Poorvanchal, Bundelkhand and Harit Pradesh,” Amar Singh said.
When a scribe reminded him of his earlier opposition to the trifurcation move, Amar Singh said: “As a decision maker in the party, I had officially opposed formation of smaller states, but now I feel creation of smaller states is necessary for their proper development.”
With an eye to the Muslim electorate, Amar Singh made a concious bid to wash off the impression that he was responsible for bringing estranged Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Kalyan Singh to collaborate with the Samajwadi Party.
“I had no hand in getting Kalyan Singh close to the SP, nor did I do anything to alienate former SP MPs like Saleem Sherwani and Shafiqur Rehman Burq from the party,” he claimed.
While Mulayam Singh refused to say anything about Amar Singh’s future in the party, Singh declared he would continue to remain in the Samajwadi Party “till I am booted out”.
Claiming to be still a “loyal soldier” of the party, he remarked, “Well, I am grateful to Mulayam Singh-ji for releasing me from the bondage.”
The former general secretary declared, “I will also stick to my vow not to speak against SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav and other top party leaders.”
When a scribe asked whether he was hinting at the Samajwadi Party being a Mulayam Singh Yadav family affair, he shot back: “I am not saying that; others are talking on those lines.”
Referring to Mulayam Singh’s cousin and party general secretary Ram Gopal Yadav, he observed: “Let Mulayam Singh Yadav groom Ram Gopal, I am ready to be his Eklavya as long as he does not ask for my thumb.”
Mulayam Singh chose to skirt questions on his one-time closest confidante, who literally called the shots in the Samajwadi Party for years.
“However much you may try, you are not going to get anything more from me on this issue. I can assure you that some of your queries would get answered tomorrow (Tuesday), when I will lead a huge demonstration in protest against the rise in prices and escalation in crime in the state capital,” he said.