Rajya Sabha MP Amar Singh today shared the dais with Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav for the first time in four years after bitter parting of ways with the party, even as he insisted that political connotation should not be attached to this gesture.
Singh, who was invited to the programme for inauguration of over 300 acres park in memory of SP veteran Janeshwar Mishra, congratulated Mulayam and his son and Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav for developing it. He also reminisced that he would call himself 'Mulayamwadi', referring to his intimacy with the SP supremo before his expulsion in 2010. "Janeshwarji did not have two-three acre land in his lifetime, but Mulayam and Akhilesh developed such a massive park on more than 300 acre land in his memory. I want to thank Mulayam Singhji for inviting me because it is a memorable moment," he said.
Narrating an anecdote from one of his meetings with Mishra, Singh said the veteran leader had once asked him if he was literally a 'samajwadi', to which Singh had replied he was a 'Mulayamwadi'. "Once Janeshwarji told me, Amar whatever you have, you've got it without much struggle. He told me had I gone to jail, fought elections, toiled under the scorching sun, met with people, then I would have been a 'samajwadi'. "I had told him that going by your definition I am not a 'samajwadi' at all, I am a 'Mulayamwadi'," Singh said.
Earlier today, Singh had said it would be "extremely wrong" to add "political connotation" to his attending the programme. "He (Mulayam) requested me and I have gone ahead. To add political connotation to it or to look at it in political light is extremely wrong," the Rajya Sabha MP said.
Praising the veteran socialist leader, Singh said Mishra was a very simple person. "I have never seen such an honest person like him. Whether criticism or praise he used to do it publicly. There was no superficiality in his personality," he added.
Senior UP Minister Mohd Azam Khan, who did not share cordial relations with Singh, was conspicuous by his absence from the function.
During the programme, Singh sat in the front row but not very close to Mulayam or Akhilesh and sat alongside the SP chief's younger brother Shivpal Yadav.
Singh, a former national general secretary of SP, had contested Lok Sabha polls on Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) ticket from Fatehpur Sikri seat of UP but lost. His Rajya Sabha tenure is also going to end later this year.
SP had expelled him and actor-turned-politician Jaya Prada on February 2, 2010 on the grounds of indiscipline and indulging in anti-party activities that the party claimed dented its socialist image.