After rubbing shoulders with "samajwadis" (socialists) for nearly a decade-and-a-half, disgruntled Samajwadi Party leader Amar Singh’s desperation to stay on in politics has led him to play the politics of the thakurs in Uttar Pradesh.
In a bid to show he still commands clout and can remain in politics without his erstwhile mentor Mulayam Singh Yadav, who has shown him the door after much dithering, Amar Singh Wednesday held a "kshatriya sammelan" (a meeting of thakurs) here.
He was flagging off a "Chetna rath yatra" (awareness march) organised under the banner of the "Kshatriya Maha Sabha", where he also echoed his demand for carving out a separate Purvanchal state out of eastern Uttar Pradesh.
While he failed to attract a large crowd, he made it a point to declare: "I have served Mulayam Singh Yadav for many years. Now, I would like to devote my energies to the well being of thakurs and most backwards, whom I wish to bring on a common platform."
"Through this effort, I will be only following the path that Lord Ram had shown by accepting a half-eaten fruit from a backward Shabri and using another backward’s boat to row him across the Saryu river when was sent to 14 years of exile," he added.
He, however, cautioned that his move should not be confused with the Bharatiya Janata Party’s use of Ram in their scheme of politics. "Let me make it clear that I do not intend to use Ram for my politics," he said.
While making the demand for creating Purvanchal state, he did not hesitate to even call upon his one-time sworn political foe – Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati - to support him in the mission.
"Since Mayawati too was in favour of further division of this giant state of Uttar Pradesh, I would like to implore her to take concrete steps in that direction," he said amid cheers.
Significantly, Amar Singh’s first political show after his parting of ways with Mualayam Singh was marked by the return of his estranged brother Arvind from the Congress party that he had joined some months ago. Prior to that, he was with the BJP.
–Indo-Asian News Service