Senior Samajwadi Party (SP) leader Amar Singh’s return to the party fold has been accompanied by ominous developments in the Samajwadi parivar and the UP government machinery. Mulayam Singh’s inclinations towards Amar Singh and his attempts to pacify his old hand have thrown the Pandora’s box open and exposed the Yadav’s and SP to wide criticism only months ahead of the crucial state Assembly elections.
On Sunday, Amar Singh threw a glittering party in a 5-star hotel in the national capital to celebrate the election of media moghul Subhash Chandra to the Rajya Sabha. Notably, SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav and his younger brother Shivpal Yadav were present along with then chief secretary Deepak Singhal, while Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav gave the do a miss. However, according to the Times of India, events that transpired at the party led to Gayatri Prajapati and Raj Kishore Singh being sacked from the cabinet and Singhal being shown the door. The report claimed Amar Singh warned Mulayam Singh that CBI was likely to start a probe on Prajapati, prompting the latter to ask for the minister’s portfolio to be changed. The CM, however, ended up sacking Prajapati and Raj Kishore Singh. Despite clarifications, the CM refused to reinstate Prajapati or Singhal, the report said.
What followed was a bitter spat among the Yadav family.
But it seems Akhilesh Yadav might have been waiting for the right opportunity to get rid of Singhal, who Amar Singh was reportedly instrumental in getting to the top post. Singhal, who had in the past taken decisions to Akhilesh’s displeasure, was quickly shown the door once the SP chief asked his son to remove him. The CM stood his ground when asked to reinstate Singhal later on.
The buzz in political circles is that Singhal was instrumental in Baba Ramdev’s Patanjali getting a huge tract of land along the Yamuna Expressway recently. Apparently, he had done this without taking the chief minister into confidence. Baba Ramdev, who is close to Amar Singh, supposedly got a go-ahead directly from Mulayam.
Incidentally, actor-politician Jayaprada is now senior deputy chairperson of the UP Film Development Council. She has been expelled from the SP for her open support to Amar Singh and his new party.
Akhilesh spoke recently about the influence of an ‘outsider’ that was disrupting the functioning of the government and that no such interference will be tolerated. Now, it is no secret that Amar Singh has a say in the party. He himself claims that he is Mulayamwadi and not Samajwadi. The leader claims he is seated not in Mulayam’s dal (party) but in his dil (heart).
Amar Singh and Akhilesh Yadav have had a troubled relationship. The CM, who enters the election battleground in uneasy times, clearly looks distraught with this new influence in his political life. He is already struggling with what many call the backseat driving by his father and uncles.