The emperor among capital’s fixers

General secretary of the Samajwadi Party, Mr. AMAR SINGH, might look like a Marwari from Bhuleshwar, but he is regarded as one of the ace strategists of the party who has the gait and the guts to formulate policies as well as implement them. “The fascist forces in the country have a one-point agenda to harass the 32 crore Muslims in India,” he tells ROMMEL RODRIGUES in a tete-a-tete during his recent trip to Mumbai.

It is said, if there is anything Mulayam Singh Yadav wants, all he has to do is whisper in Amar Singh's ears and it is as good as done. One veteran parliamentarian even went on to say — “Where would Samajwadi Party chief be without his 'Man Friday' Amar Singh, the emperor among capital's fixers,” — a compliment that Amar Singh dismisses with a sarcastic laugh. However for the past one year or so, apart from his ‘fixing jobs’, Amar Singh has been very busy politically in his home state. First it was the run-up to the elections in UP, and now he is busy defending his party, which could not come into power despite emerging as the single largest party in the state.

Businessman-turned-politician, general secretary and spokesperson of Samajwadi Party, Rajya Sabha MP, Amar Singh, vented his ire on the Congress president Sonia Gandhi, and spoke, among other things, about the strategies formulated by the SP to grow and the plight of the Muslims in the country. Excerpts:

Even though you were so close to forming the government in Uttar Pradesh, you couldn't make it. Why?
What happened in UP was the result of a pre-decided conspiracy, by an unholy opportunistic alliance, involving all the major parties —Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the Congress, Bahujan Samajwadi Party (BSP) and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP). BJP used BSP to divide secular votes, which was aided and abetted by Congress and NCP. It was a virtual combat between Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Advani, Kanshi Ram, Mayawati, Sonia, Laloo, Ajit Singh and one man — Mulayam Singh. In other words all political forces got together and worked hard to upset the Samajwadi Party (SP) applecart. Nevertheless we still emerged as the single largest party. BJP was under the false illusion that they would win sizable seats, however, when that did not happen they allied with BSP, just to keep us out, while an ambiguous Congress remained purposely undecided.

But you were banking very heavily on the Congress for their support and it seemed you have almost made it?
That is because the Congress kept giving us false promises and assurances. We met Sonia Gandhi several times, both in the House as well as at her residence. All the time she kept telling us that she would consult her party men and get back to us. She is yet to do that.

Why did the Congress ditch you? After all you share the secular plank and much more...
The Congress now has a deep-rooted resentment against us. SP has broken the most cherished dream of the Congress — to get back to power in the Center through UP. In fact, UP is the most critical area for any party that wants to grab power in the Center. Interestingly we even broke into Congress stronghold Amethi, Sonia's constituency, and won two seats. That's why the Congress considers us their enemy and BJP as their rival, when it should actually be the opposite. This was all decided at Panchmarhi, the Congress party's annual convention.

How will you describe SP's growth over the past few years?
Samajwadi Party has become extremely strong in the past few years. Till about a few years ago we had only a rural stronghold, however, now we hold power even in urban areas. If you see the voting pattern in the recently concluded elections, you will notice that there has been a major swing in SP's favour. This has all been achieved due to our efforts to constantly restructure the party. We have maintained a very strict code of conduct in the party and have taken great care to keep anti-social elements out of the party. SP has created a dent even in Allahabad, the stronghold of Murli Manohar Joshi, and Lucknow, Atal Bihari Vajpayee's constituency. In Allahabad in fact the mayor belongs to SP.

But SP was always lampooned for its association with anti-socials like Ramakant Yadav and Umakant Yadav. Infact SP was started with such people...
Let the past be. Point out one single such element in our party now! Such elements were banished long ago. However, an interesting point you should note is that all those who were thrown by SP were given a red carpet welcome by the BJP! Soon after D.P. Yadav (former Samajwadi Party MLA from Bulandshahar), left SP, he was taken in by the BJP and fielded against Mulayam Singh. And the day we dropped Ramakant and Umakant, they were both quickly adopted by Rajnath Singh and Kushabhau Thakre. BJP can now boast of great hoodlums and goons like Baloo Srivastava, Chulbul Singh, Uday Singh, Ajit Singh, Dadhua, Amar Mani Tripathi, Raja Bhaiya and many more!

SP seems to be heavily dependent on Muslim votes. Is it true?
This is absolutely not true. Ours is a mixed culture, and we take up issues of all communities. However unfortunately the fascist forces in our country lead by BJP, VHP, RSS, Bajrang Dal, have one single agenda, to harass the more than 32 crore Muslims in this country. And SP comes to their rescue.

Do you think Sonia Gandhi has emerged as a mature political leader?
Leader (laughs), she is unfortunately just a reader! She has never managed to speak a word on her own and has to rely on written speeches, Hindi written in English! She doesn't lead the party but in fact is being led by party people like Arjun Singh and Kamal Nath. Her political will is very weak and she can't take any decisions on her own.

But Jyoti Basu recently said that she has matured a lot?
Well, I don't know what Jyoti Basu meant by that.

Will you accept her as the prime minister?
It will be too premature to say anything on that (laughs again). I can only say, that as she had a problem accepting Mulayam Singh as chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, it will be difficult for us to accept her as a prime minister too.

What do you think of Narendra Modi and the way he has handled the situation in Gujarat?
Narendra Modi is a political terrorist. He is like Hitler, leading the Nazis. Look, you must understand that he is not a politician he is a Sangh Pracharak, and was deputed to Gujarat for a very particular purpose, to spread communal disharmony and kill Muslims. He is only doing what he is instructed by R. Sudarshan, Togadia, Singhal, Acharya Giriraj Kishore who are the ones who are calling the shots and pulling the strings.

You initially approved of Dr. P.C. Alexander as the presidential candidate, but now you seem to have turned around?
Dr. P.C. Alexander was never our presidential candidate. In fact, we are yet to decide on our candidate for that coveted post.