Ousted Samajwadi Party leader Jaya Prada tells Neha Dixit that party chief Mulayam Singh’s family has pushed him towards wrong decisions
The Samajwadi Party has expelled you for anti-party activities and indiscipline. Do you accept the charges?
The media has thoroughly focussed on both me and Amar Singh throughout our political careers. You tell me, have I engaged in any anti-party activities? We have unfailingly visited remote places in 45-degree heat for party work. I respect Mulayam Singh for giving this expulsion as a gift to us.
Why do you call it a gift?
It’s sad that the party is very keen to take Azam Khan back. In that case, nothing can go worse for me. If a person who did not value a ‘sister’, engaged in character assassination, and has no respect for women, is being welcomed by the party, then this expulsion is really a big gift for me. Now, I have the freedom to serve society at my own terms.
Party spokesperson Mohan Singh said that people like you have ‘capitalist interests’ and have destroyed the socialist fabric of the party.
Tell me, before bringing us to the party, be it me, Jaya Bachchan, Sanjay Dutt, Ambani, did they not know about our history. Were they not aware of where we are coming from? Why have they realised this suddenly after using our services and stardom all these years? They sent me to a place like Rampur. I was from Andhra Pradesh. I didn’t know a thing about the place. Yet, I managed to project a respectable image of the party in Rampur.
You have alleged that some middlemen are playing games to create a rift between Mulayam Singh and you and Amar Singh. Who are these people?
People like Azam Khan and Mohan Singh who are defeated and are looking for some identity are creating a ruckus to promote themselves. Amar Singh used to take risks for everything. Credit for all the positive things used to go to the party as a whole and all the negatives were dumped on Amar Singh. The Ferozabad byelection was a disaster, but it was not due to Amar Singh or Jaya Prada. Among the Ferozabad cadre itself, there is a certain level of anguish. They are upset that the party brought in Kalyan Singh. The blame for that, too, has come on Amar Singh even when Kalyan Singh has clarified that Amar Singh has nothing to do with his entry into SP. I had faith in Netaji [Mulayam Singh] for standing up for the truth and giving good judgements. But I think his family members have cornered him.
What plagues the Samajwadi Party?
Since the byelection, the party is not able to compete with the Congress wave. They could not take Amar Singh into confidence then. When he was unwell and in a hospital in Singapore, they started distributing seats without consulting him. It’s not just about seat distribution but also about the kind of language they have used for a person who is unwell. Also, it’s the party’s duty to select proper candidates to compete with the Congress. Later, when Dimple Yadav, Mulayam Singh’s daughter-in-law, was defeated, some people could not accept it. The cadre at the ground level was demoralised. The party leaders are inefficient in mobilising the cadre. There is a vacuum in the party at that level.
‘Why have they noticed our capitalist nature after using our stardom for all these years ?’
Has the SP asked you to quit the Lok Sabha seat as well?
They haven’t asked us to quit as yet. Neither will I quit.
Are you planning to join any party?
I haven’t thought about it as yet. This experience is first of a kind for me.