Samajwadi Party general secretary Amar Singh’s emotions alternated between downright dejection and extreme exhilaration on Tuesday.
Made to go on the defensive after three BJP MPs named him as the source of bribes received by them, the irrepressible Singh — garland around his neck — was back to rhyming slogans and chirpy one-liners after the announcement of the trust vote results. As the results demonstrate, the SP was able to deliver the support of 33 of its 39 MPs while managing two other MPs — Independent Baleshwar Yadav and BJP’s Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh.
Six SP members cast their vote against the government, while rival BSP was able to ensure 100 per cent voting of its bloc of 17 MPs. The six SP MPs included four rebels (Munawwar Hasan, S.P. Singh Baghel, Rajnarayan Budholia and Jaiprakash Rawat) and two jailbirds (Ateeq Ahmed and Afzal Ansari).
But despite the goings on of the day, the evening saw celebrations in the SP camp. “This is the happiest day of my day,” Singh said. On the bribery charges, he thundered: “I am warning the three BJP MPs, defamation cases will be slapped against them and they will have to go to jail.”
For Singh, the central character in the month-long suspense over the future of the government after the Left withdrew support, Tuesday was his crowning moment. “The politics of the Karat-Bardhan-Advani triumverate” has been exposed, he said. Pushed on the backfoot by a string of rebellions in the SP over the past fortnight, he came into his own when BJP MP Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh joined the SP.
Singh had been claiming seven BSP MPs were willing to join the SP. As late as Tuesday afternoon, he had also alleged six SP MPs were being forcibly kept in UP Bhavan. With the results of the trust vote, SP leaders are a relieved lot.