Top Samajwadi Party leader Amar Singh resigned from all party posts, citing “health reasons” — amid speculation over his differences with party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav.
Singh, who was the SP’s general secretary, spokesman and a parliamentary board member, faxed his resignation to Yadav from Dubai on Wednesday.
But he retained his party membership, and thus, his seat in the Rajya Sabha.
He said the decision was based on his doctor’s advice to take complete rest after the kidney transplant he underwent three months ago.
Singh resignation marks the end of an era in the SP, during which he became Yadav’s closest aide and the party’s chief power broker.
It was Singh who gave the SP – a primarily Uttar Pradesh based party – a national profile, roping in high profile members and supporters like Anil Ambani, Amitabh and Jaya Bachchan and Jayaprada.
But his rapid rise also saw him make enemies in the party. A former confidant of Yadav, Beni Prasad Varma, whom Singh sidelined until he finally quit and joined the Congress, for instance, called Singh’s resignation “blackmailing tactics and a drama”.
Rejecting Singh’s claim that he had “no political motive”, Varma said had Singh been serious about resigning, he would have quit as a party member too.
SP chief Yadav, who is now campaigning for local body elections in his home district, Etawah, said he had not yet received the resignation letter and would discuss the issue in a national executive meeting soon.
He admitted, “I met him (Singh) just three days ago and he never made any mention of that.”
Denying having any differences with Singh, Yadav, however, made it clear that he would not persuade him to take back the resignation, as “we do not share such a relationship”.
Earlier, Singh openly said Yadav’s “overconfidence” had led to his daughter-in-law Dimple’s defeat at the Firozabad Lok Sabha by-poll last November.
Opposing the patriarch made him an easy target inside Samajwadi circles. Singh expressed anguish in his blog for being “lambasted and lampooned” by his party colleagues.
Singh’s detractors within the party, though refusing to come on record, were unanimous that the resignation would not affect the party.
The list of Singh’s detractors is long. While a few, such as Beni Verma, Raj Babbar, Mohammad Azam Khan, Salim Sherwani and Shafiqur Rahman Barq, raised the banner of revolt and left the party, others have kept quiet so far.
Curiously even the SP’s political rivals, including the Congress, seemed none too keen to welcome Singh into their fold, in case he chose to shift.
A senior leader, who did not want to be named, said Amar Singh was not an asset.