Samajwadi dissidents blame Amar Singh for desertionsJuly 21st, 2008 - 9:17 pm ICT by IANS
By Sharat Pradhan
Lucknow, July 21 (IANS) Notwithstanding his projection as “kingmaker”, Samajwadi Party general secretary Amar Singh must take the blame for the desertions from it, according to some of the disgruntled MPs. Denying that they had switched loyalties to Uttar Pradesh’s Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) due to allurements, they alleged that they were driven to take the “extreme step” largely on account of what they said was the overbearing attitude of Amar Singh, the confidant of Samajwadi Party Mulyam Singh Yadav.
“Amar Singh has been calling the shots in the party, and sadly Mulayam Singh has allowed himself to be dominated and overshadowed by him. I have tolerated Amar Singh for too long but I am not prepared to do it any longer,” said Jai Prakash Rawat, the middle-aged Lok Sabha MP from Mohanlalganj on the outskirts of Lucknow.
“Mulayam Singh was my leader, and since he has ceased to remain one, I would be happier under another banner,” Rawat told IANS.
“It is quite apparent that Mulayam has lost control over the party, so what is the point staying in a party where a grassroots man like me has to take directions from someone who does not know the ABC of ground politics, yet he has been given the reins of the party?
“If money were any consideration for me, then there could not have been a bigger bait than what came from the Amar Singh camp… I am not among those who believe or play the politics of money; for me principles are supreme.”
Amar Singh has been playing the leading role in New Delhi while trying to muster majority support for the government of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, which lost its numbers in the Lok Sabha after the Left parties took back their support over the India-US nuclear deal.
S.B. Singh Baghel, the Samajwadi Party MP from Jalesar in Etah district, too claimed - while speaking over telephone - that it was Amar Singh’s dominance over the party that triggered his exit. “Where is the room for a dedicated and committed party worker in a set up which has been virtually handed over to one who is bothered only about himself?
“I fail to understand why Mulayam Singh has started thinking that he owes it to Amar Singh. In fact it should be the other way round,” Baghel pointed out. “Amar Singh may not be able to win even a municipal election, yet Mulayam has given him the discretionary authority to run the entire Samajwadi Party.”
Meanwhile, jailed Samajwadi Party MP and alleged mafia don Atiq Ahmed was reported to have expressed his displeasure over the manner in which Amar Singh’s writ was allowed to prevail over the party.
Earlier, two prominent Samajwadi Party MPs - Beni Prasad Verma and Raj Babbar - had bid goodbye to Mulayam Singh essentially because they felt marginalised on account of Amar Singh’s increasing influence over the party.
The duo’s ire against Amar Singh continues even as they are all set to abide by the party whip and vote with the Samajwadi Party over the trust vote Tuesday.
“I am going in support of the UPA (United Progressive Alliance),” Raj Babbar told IANS while parrying pointed queries as to whether he was with the Samajwadi Party. As for Verma, who was seen as only second to Mulayam Singh in the party hierarchy, he remains averse to Amar Singh.
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