Despite his frail health, Amar Singh had not given up hopes of playing a crucial role nationally after the 2012 Uttar Pradesh polls.
He continued dabbling in state politics, irrationally picking up smaller unknown parties and politicians to remain in the limelight following his expulsion from the Samajwadi Party (SP). But the crowds that thronged his meetings came more for a glimpse of cine stars Sanjay Dutt and Jaya Prada.
Parties knew him for his political clout and not as a popular face at the grassroots, which he always thought he was. Yet, Singh knew he would bargain hard once he displayed his political strength.
Singh was toying with three options, one of which was floating his own party. He acted on it and formed the Lok Manch on June 16, 2010.
The other two options were: a graceful coordination with the Congress, which did get a fillip after Congress leader Digvijaya Singh publicly hugged him while supporting the party’s alliance with smaller parties; the second was a return to the SP, the chances of which dimmed after his continued diatribe against party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav.
In his hunt for viable and emotional poll issues, Singh picked up statehood. When in the SP, he was against trifurcation of UP. The National Federation of New States, looking for a leader who could network in Delhi and raise their demand in the Rajya Sabha, made him the chairman.
But soon differences cropped up. Actor and filmmaker Raja Bundela floated the Bundelkhand Congress. On Wednesday, Bundela said, “We had to go our respective ways as our agendas were different. We are fighting for statehood and he for power.”
Now, Singh has few political friends and effectively no poll issues to take up. Having gone to jail in the note-for-vote case, his credibility has nosedived.
His supporters, however, are not willing to give up. “He is not going to remain in jail forever. We will resume our political agenda once he is out on bail,” said Yogendra Chauhan, state president of the Lok Manch.