Amar Singh appointed SP general secretary


Patna: Dealing another big blow to the authority of Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav has appointed Amar Singh as the SP's national general secretary. 

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In a six-line handwritten letter on a party letterhead, Mulayam addressed his friend-turned-foe-turned-friend as “dear” Amar Singh and expressed confidence that he would play an important role in strengthening SP in the run-up to Uttar Pradesh state elections, scheduled early next year.

“You are appointed the general secretary of Samajwadi Party. I hope you will play an important role in the upcoming Assembly polls, and in strengthening the Samajwadi Party,” Mulayam wrote in Hindi. Signifying the growing clout of his brother and state party chief Shivpal Yadav, the letter was sent to the media from state SP chief Shivpal’s official email. 

Generally, letters of appointment in SP are issued and signed by Mulayam’s cousin Ram Gopal Yadav, who is also the SP leader in Rajya Sabha. Mulayam’s announcement comes a few days after his son, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, had demanded a role for himself in the selection of poll candidates.

Amar Singh was seen as the leader responsible for the recent feud between Shivpal and Akhilesh. Without naming him, Akhilesh and Ram Gopal had also referred to Singh as an “outsider”. A day after he removed UP chief secretary Deepak Singhal and stripped uncle Shivpal of important portfolios, Akhilesh had said that “outsiders” were interfering in party affairs. Ram Gopal had also said that some people with “no concern for interests of the party and (who) are not associated with it” were taking advantage of Mulayam’s simplicity and damaging SP.

Ram Gopal had also said that party workers want action against “that person”. Asked whether ‘Mulayamwadi’ — as Singh calls himself — would face action, Ram Gopal had said, “There is nothing called Mulayamwadi. One who is not Samajwadi, how can he be Mulayamwadi?” In reply, Singh had said, “Akhilesh is like a son, and Mulayam like a brother.”

With Mulayam now throwing his weight behind Shivpal, who batted for Amar Singh, the MP seems to be back in business. Addressing leaders and workers of SP’s front organisations a few days ago, Mulayam had said that Singh had stood by him in bad times.

Singh was SP’s national general secretary and member of the central parliamentary board when he had resigned from all party posts in January 2010. He was subsequently expelled for alleged anti-party activities. Singh made a comeback in May this year, becoming the SP’s nominee for a Rajya Sabha seat, despite opposition from Ram Gopal and cabinet minister Azam Khan. In July, he was inducted in the party’s national executive committee as a member.

Unlike in past, when Singh played a key role in party affairs, this time, however, he was initially kept on the fringe, provoking him to fume within three months of re-induction. He had even threatened to quit the party, alleging that he was being insulted, kept on “mute” and sidelined.

On September 11, Singh had hosted a party for Subhash Chandra, an Independent Rajya Sabha MP backed by the BJP, in Delhi, attended by many high-profile guests, including Mulayam and Shivpal. Akhilesh had skipped it. The turf war between Shivpal and Akhilesh broke out soon after.

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