Rebel Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan tells Shobhita Naithani that Amar Singh was given a free hand by Mulayam Singh Yadav because of his financial clout
What could be the reason that led Amar Singh to resign from the Samajwadi Party (SP)?
That only he can tell you. But I think he was on a mission to ruin the SP and he has achieved that. Nobody can repair the damage that Amar Singh has done to the SP for at least the next four year.
But what led to the break between Mulayam Singh Yadav and Amar Singh after nearly two decades?
Amar Singh wasn’t in the party for 20 years. His entry into the SP was like that of a mouse in a house – very silent. No one knew which corner of the lihaf (quilt) he would bite off. He has been around for 16-17 years, but he became active in the party only in the last 10.
So when did the other party members learn about Amar Singh?
When he started the dalali of Muslims. At the time of the nuclear deal also he sold Muslims. He has never missed an opportunity to sell anything, be it Noida, Greater Noida or sugar mills.
Didn’t you ever raise the issue?
If I had not spoken up and fought against such a powerful chattan (rock face), I wouldn’t have been thrown out of the party.
So what could have led Amar Singh to break away from Mulayam Singh Yadav?
I can’t comment on the rift in their ties. But what I can say is that it’s his (Amar Singh’s) misfortune that he couldn’t resign in his own country and had to go overseas to do it. How can he be called a politician when he hasn’t even fought a single election?
Amar Singh had become the face of the SP. Did the other party leaders feel neglected?
(Laughs) What was our status? We would stand in one corner and listen to Thakur sahib’s (Amar Singh) orders.
But why was that allowed to happen?
Because he has a lot of money, film stars and the means to book those stars in five-star hotels.
Does his resignation mean that you will return to the SP?
Mulayam Singh Yadav lost his credibility after he associated with Kalyan Singh. I was insulted and driven out of the party because of Kalyan. Aise mein na koi hamein bulane ki koshish karega aur na humari jaane ki himmat hogi (In such a situation neither will anyone call me, nor will I have the courage to return to the party)
What if the party does call you?
Why will they? Can the SP return my youth, 29 years of my life, hard work, self respect? They have stabbed the community I represent.
So will you rejoin the SP?
What does the SP mean without Amar Singh?
The SP national president can tell you. I only know that when he was in the party the SP was like the ghungroos (anklet with bells) on a dancer’s feet.
Did tensions between Mulayam Singh Yadav and Amar Singh exist during your tenure?
I didn’t have much to do with Amar Singh. But three years ago, in a parliamentary board meeting, Amar Singh had threatened to resign after an MP said something against him. The MP apologised and he (Singh) withdrew his resignation. This time the resignation could be serious because it has been given through the media.
What does the decline of smaller parties like the SP mean for the BJP and Congress?
SP has suffered irreparable loss.
Has the party abandoned its socialist agenda and is it indulging in dynasty politics?
There is no socialism in the party anymore. It was functioning on capitalism and glamour – Bollywood, film stars and five-star hotels. Most SP members, from Beni Prasad Verma to Raj Babbar have all quit because of Thakur sahib. Who is left in the SP apart from the Yadav parivar (family)? But dynasty politics has always been part of the political system.