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Amar Singh returns... with Jayaprada at hand

Tuesday, 11 March 2014 - 7:00am IST | Place: New Delhi | Agency: dna

Former Samajwadi Party strongman joins Ajit Singh's RLD; likely to contest from Fatehpur.

The two are inseparable.

Samajwadi Party strongman Azam Khan once asked Tehelka magazine: "What is his interest in her?" That was a rhetorical question. But the point was clear on Monday when Amar Singh and Jayaprada were together welcomed into the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) of Ajit Singh.

The story as it turns out is that Amar Singh was keen to join the Congress, along with Jayaprada. But the Congress wanted the lady, not the gentleman, who has a little taint to his name. So, the Congress said "she, and she alone".

But you can't separate the inseparables, can you? Where one stays, the other remains; where one goes, the other follows. So Jayaprada shot down the idea. On Monday both found refuge in the RLD, the Jat party of western Uttar Pradesh.

"It was not overnight, it took some time and finally Ajit Singh took the decision," said RLD spokesman MK Tayal. "The decision on Jayaprada joining the RLD was also taken at the same time. In any case, Jayaprada looks up to Amar Singh as her mentor."

There's another story doing the rounds. That the Congress, while willing to welcome Jayaprada into the party, suggested a way out for Amar Singh to make it "to the party" i.e. take the backdoor "in". After all, the RLD and the Congress are both part of the UPA, and more or less country cousins. Later, after the polls, things could be worked out.

Soon after his induction into RLD at Ajit Singh's residence, Amar Singh, while saying that he had no "personal fight against Modi", emphasised that there was "no BJP in his DNA" even though Rajnath Singh happens to be his "friend".

That is Amar Singh talk. It also says a lot about his political journey that the "once upon a time" Samajwadi Party bigshot with immense clout in Lucknow — who was unceremoniously shown the door in 2012 along with Jayaprada — found his "constituency" in western UP, far away from the "Purvanchal" he took out a padayatra from despite "failing kidneys".

One of the reasons for Amar Singh's desperation to join a political outfit is, of course, the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. And Amar Singh and Jayaprada have both been promised "constituencies" in what they call "Harit Pradesh". Amar Singh may get to contest from Fatehpur, and Jayaprada from Bijnore although the sitting MP from Bijnore is from the RLD.

Amar Singh, however, told the media on Monday that he was not joining RLD to contest the elections. His aim is loftier. He wants Uttar Pradesh cut into smaller states for "development's sake". And he says Ajit Singh is of a similar bent of mind. "The kind of clarity Ajit Singh has for the creation of states like Purvanchal and Harit Pradesh is lacking in leaders of other parties," he said.

Jayaprada said little on Monday. There was no way of knowing what her eyes spoke as they were hidden behind dark glasses.

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