New Delhi: In a decision that may be seen as yet another snub to son Akhilesh Yadav, Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav on Tuesday appointed Amar Singh as the National General Secretary of the party, almost six years after he was removed from the same post as well as the party.
"You have been appointed General Secretary of Samajwadi Party. I hope in the coming days you will strengthen the party in Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections," Mulayam said in a handwritten letter to Amar. The brief letter in Hindi, signed by Mulayam on his Lok Sabha letterhead, was sent to media from state SP chief Shivpal Yadav's official e-mail address.
Once the public face of the party, Amar was seen as Mulayam's closest aide when he had the ear of "Netaji". However, he along with his close associate Jaya Prada were expelled from the Samajwadi Party in February, 2010. Subsequently, Amar had floated his own political party, Rashtriya Lok Manch in 2011. He fielded a large number of candidates in 2012 assembly polls but none won.
Amar Singh had joined the Rashtriya Lok Dal and contested the 2014 Lok Sabha poll from Fatehpur Sikri but lost. He was re-inducted into the party and made Rajya Sabha member only a few months back. Tuesday's decision may be seen as another snub to Akhilesh in a matter of days as the Chief Minister was only recently made to climb down by Mulayam in his tussle with uncle Shivpal. Akhilesh, who had stripped minister Shivpal of key portfolios, had to restore all but one of those ministries.
He also had to bring back one minister whom he had sacked. Akhilesh also had to "accept" Shivpal as the party's state unit chief, a post to which his uncle had been appointed replacing him. Only Monday, Shivpal asserted himself by expelling the
party functionaries considered close to Akhilesh.
With Tuesday's decision, Mulayam has sent out a message to Akhilesh and cousin Ram Gopal that Amar Singh is important for the party though the two are opposing his stature. Though SP big wigs were strongly opposed to Amar Singh, often described as an "outsider", Mulayam threw his weight behind him, first by making him a Rajya Sabha member some time back and now allotting him an important party post.
Interestingly, during the feud between Mulayam's brother Shivpal and son Akhilesh Yadav, Amar Singh was seen as the one who had engineered it. Akhilesh, while apparently referring to Amar Singh, had recently said that "people from outside the household" keep interfering in the Samajwadi Party's affairs.
Mulayam's cousin Ram Gopal Yadav also had made a veiled attack on Amar Singh during the feud, saying they have no love for the party and hence are creating trouble. Commenting on that Amar had said, "Akhilesh is like a son and Mulayam like a brother."