Political circles are rife with speculations about a rapprochement being worked out between Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Mulayam Singh Yadav and his one-time major-domo Amar Singh, ahead of the crucial 2012 assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh.
After Singh announced the decision to "break his silence" on his alleged role in the 2008 cash-for-votes scam on July 31, a day before the start of Parliament's monsoon session, at Etawah — Yadav's pocket borough — such speculations arose.
SP spokesman Mohan Singh was guarded in his comments: "Nothing can be said now. Singh was expelled as a result of a unanimous decision by the party. The decision about his possible re-induction will also have to be unanimous. As of now, these rumours do not appear to be true", he said.
One and a half years after Singh was dishonourably expelled from the SP, he and Yadav appear to have come a full circle in their relationship.
Failing to carry out the threat of decimating the SP on Uttar Pradesh political turf, Singh's status has become increasingly vulnerable after being recently named, and also questioned by the Delhi Police, in the cash-for-vote case.
Singh's perception is that he has been used and abused by the Congress, while his attempts to cozy up to the party having been systematically rebuffed.
Yadav's concerns, on the other hand, have been that Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi continues to generate immense media interest about his tours of UP, while the SP's proclivity to whip up media frenzy has diminished after Singh's exit from the party.
Yadav's bigger fear is that allowing the Congress and Gandhi to have a free run in the state would lead to further erosion of the SP political base.
"Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati and Gandhi are just sparring partners. If the Congress grows further in UP, this will be at the expense of the SP," a senior SP leader said on conditions of anonymity.
At this juncture, Yadav possibly feels that his former aide's networking skills might come in useful as UP goes to polls next year.