Hours after he threatened to walk out of the Samajwadi Party (SP), key Mulayam Singh aide and political acrobat par-excellence Amar Singh has said he had been misunderstood and added that he would remain in the party throughout his life.
At the heart of the controversy is an ego clash between the two top SP general secretaries Amar Singh and Azam Khan.
Miffed by party chief Mulayam Singh’s efforts to build bridges with Khan, who has been on the warpath with the party leadership since former UP chief minister Kalyan Singh joined the party, Amar Singh had said he was ready to walk out of the party.
“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 here.
Singh, later, invited journalists to his Lucknow residence late on Tuesday and said: “I may leave this world but will never leave the Samajwadi Party.”
Reports appearing on Wednesday said Amar Singh retracted from his earlier stance after Mulayam Singh spoke to him over the telephone.
They added that Amar Singh has cited his failing kidneys for a not-so-central role that he would play during the forthcoming Lok Sabha campaign of the SP.
Azam Khan, once the minority face of the SP, has repeatedly skirmished with Amar Singh over issues ranging from cine-star Jaya Prada’s candidature from his home-turf Rampur to the induction of Kalyan Singh into the party, whom the SP’s staunch Muslim voters accuse of involvement in the demolition of the Babri Masjid structure in Ayodhya in 1992.
Kalyan Singh was the chief minister of UP at the time while the Center was ruled by a Congress led government headed by prime minister PV Narasmha Rao.