Has anybody heard from Amar Singh?

Claiming he feels ‘liberated,not lonely’,Singh has marched ‘1,080 km by foot’,held ‘270 rallies’,put up ‘379 candidates’.

Written by Vandita Mishra | Rampur | Published: March 4, 2012 5:29 am

After addressing his last meeting on the final day of the long campaign for Uttar Pradesh,Amar Singh was a man of many moods. He was the detached philosopher. “I feel liberated,not lonely. Any pain or loss does not bother me. I have nothing more to lose.”

He was the victim. “The pain of betrayal by Mulayam (Singh Yadav) was deeper than (that caused by) falling in an airborne helicopter or the loss of a kidney… For me (the relationship with) Mulayam Singh Yadav was not about politics,but emotion. If he can be dishonest in emotion,he cannot be honest in politics.”

He was the angry avenger: “I want to tell the people of UP that the state has been ruled by 10 people. Five bureaucrats,three industrialists and two politicians,Mayawati and Mulayam Singh. The same bureaucrats and industrialists prosper in both political regimes. There is a nexus.”

He blamed the people of UP: “If after all this,they are ready to coronate Mulayam Singh as emperor and Akhilesh as Shahzada Salim,UP deserves it!” If Mulayam wins,“It will be proved that in UP’s politics,caste and creed are the only key to success”,says the man who is himself addressed as ‘Thakur’ Amar Singh in public meetings. “It will be like the Gaddafi family (in Libya). Or Idi Amin’s family (in Uganda).”

The always controversial general secretary of the SP,accused of introducing the Lohia-ite party to the seductions of big business and Bollywood,left the party in 2010,and now heads the Rashtriya Lok Manch.

Throughout this election,while the spotlight followed Akhilesh — whom Amar Singh claims to have propelled to UP SP chief because “I thought he will understand my language of youth and modernity” — Singh,Rampur MP and film star Jaya Prada in tow,was also touring the state,fighting for a foothold. There have been three padyatras — “1,080 km by foot” topped by “at least 270 rallies”.

The Rashtriya Lok Manch has put up 379 candidates. “I don’t mind if their deposits are forfeited,” he says. “Just becoming a registered party and ensuring the symbol is known is an achievement.”

Once the results are out,on which side would Singh find himself? “I will be anywhere but with Mulayam. I cannot ally either with the SP or BJP,” he says. Earlier,Singh declared in Allahabad that he would side with the corrupt (read BSP) over the criminal (read SP).

On the Congress,Singh sounds jilted. “It seems the Congress does not take us seriously,” says the man who never tires of boasting that he saved the Manmohan Singh government over the Indo-US nuclear deal. “I waited till the last minute,” he says,for an understanding with the Congress on the Rampur seat.

At his rally in Rampur on the final day of the campaign,there was charged rhetoric on the Batla House encounter. “After Batla House,I am Amar Singh Azmi from Azamgarh… I have seen the purdah-clad women of Rampur shamed and accused of producing ‘terrorists’,” said Singh.

To illustrate Mulayam’s “opportunistic” alliance with Kalyan Singh,he pulled a young man close to him,hugged him tight and then,just as dramatically,pushed him away. “Pal bhar ke liye koi hamein pyar kar le,jhoota hi sahi…”,he recited,ostensibly to express the feelings of the people of Azamgarh.

And there were masked threats,an Amar Singh staple: “I was put in jail (for the cash-for-votes scam). My daughters could not tell their friends their father is in jail. I am quiet only because I don’t want the chaddiwallahs (BJP) to gain.”

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