Hours after he publicly threatened to quit the Samajwadi Party owing to his ego clash with senior party leader Azam Khan, Amar Singh took a U-turn, claiming he had been misunderstood.
Differences within the Samajwadi Party flared up on Tuesday, when general secretary Amar Singh dared party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav to choose between him and party leader Azam Khan and said he was prepared to walk out of the organisation.
"If people think that the party can survive without me but not without Azam Khan, I would not hesitate to say good-bye to Mulayam Singhji and make an exit from the party," he said at a seminar organised by the Student Islamic Federation of India in Lucknow.
However, later he invited select TV journalists around 11 pm on Tuesday at his Gomati Nagar residence to tell them: "I may leave this world but will never leave the Samajwadi Party".
Samajwadi Party sources claimed that Amar Singh's "change of heart" came after Mulayam Singh gave him a piece of his mind.
Mulayam Singh was understood to have reminded Amar Singh that if he had risen from a liaison officer of a corporate house to a political leader of consequence, it was entirely due to the blessings showered on him by the Samajwadi Party chief.
Amar Singh promptly went for damage control and decided to blame the media by coming up with the usual alibi that he had been misquoted.
As if building up a defence for his subdued participation in the poll campaign, he went on to plead that "owing to ill-health, I may not be in a position to devote as much time in the campaign as I had planned earlier".
He said his absence at some places should not be attributed "to anything else".
When a journalist sought to know what he was ailing from, pat came the reply: "Both my kidneys are damaged, so I have to undergo various time-consuming procedures."