The great Gandhi-Bachchan fallout was not about Bofors, says Amar Singh

Amar Singh was always famous as the man who knew too much. His calling card was about proximity to the powers that be. Now that Bofors is back in the news, could Amar Singh be far behind? In an interview with Tehelka (read it in its entirety here) Amar Singh is back to his old games of dropping teasing hints about knowing deep dark secrets about the great Gandhi-Bachchan fallout.

According to him the great wedge issue was not really Bofors. There was no FIR against Bachchan on Bofors and he really had a media trial thanks to Arun Shourie, Chitra Subramaniam, Dagens Nyhetter and India Abroad News Service says Singh. He had already told Aaj Tak's Siddhi Baat that it was Arun Jaitley, then the additional solicitor general who wanted to nail the Big B on Bofors even though Subramanian Swamy had already given him a clean chit on his FERA violation. "Jaitley should answer who implicated Bachchan in the case," Singh told Aaj Tak."If needed he should file a defamation case against the Swedish police chief."

Amar Singh, cast out into the wilderness these days, is anxious to remain relevant. PTI

In fact, he points out the Bachchan Gandhi relationship survived post-Bofors. When Rajiv Gandhi died it was Bachchan who took the news to Rahul Gandhi. He says if you look at the photographs of the cremation and you’ll see plenty of people missing – Vijaylakshmi Pandit’s daughters, the Arun Nehru clan. But Amitabh  Bachchan was there. He was the fourth trustee when the Rajiv Gandhi Trust was established. “Back then 90 percent of Congressmen would not go to 10 Janpath for lobbying purposes. They’d go to Amitabh’s house in Gulmohar Park for that,” said Singh.

So what was the big fallout with Sonia Gandhi? Singh says he has a clue but he’s not telling yet. “It’s too private a matter to be discussed in public.”

What comes across clearest in the interview is that Amar Singh, cast out into the wilderness these days, is both anxious to remain relevant and remind you of how  and play the victim card to the hilt. His rift with Bachchan is not about Jaya Bachchan staying on in the Samajwadi Party after he got booted from it. It’s about “Amitji” (no longer “brother”) shouting and screaming at him at Anil Ambani’s house. What about his own fight with Anil Ambani? That he can’t talk about yet either.

What he is really interested in talking about is himself as the “sensitive man” with too big a heart for the political hurly burly. He says his main problem is that he’s “too sensitive and that what I do for others, they would never do for me. So it’s not their fault; it’s my fault.” According to him Jaya Bachchan told him that. That’s a very filmi self-sacrificing dialogue from the man who’s happy to snidely drop Bollywood references to Silsila all the time now that Rekha and Jaya are both in the Rajya Sabha.
But having served time behind bars in the cash-for-votes scam, Amar Singh is always happy to play the victim, stabbed in the back by all his so-called friends.

In an earlier interview with Indian Express, here he is on  Mulayam Singh Yadav. “The pain of betrayal by Mulayam (Singh Yadav) was deeper than (that caused by) falling in an airborne helicopter or the loss of a kidney... For me (the relationship with) Mulayam Singh Yadav was not about politics, but emotion. If he can be dishonest in emotion, he cannot be honest in politics.”

So is Amar Singh more sinned against than sinning? Read the Tehelka interview here  to see whether one of the most colourful figures of Indian politics is itching for the spotlight again.

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