When the announcement of Amar Singh’s nomination to Rajya Sabha was made in Lucknow by the SP, he was in Ujjain on pilgrimage.
“I have been, always, claiming that I am a Mulayamwadi, I am not a samajwadi. Giving me a Rajya Sabha seat is the expression of Mulayamji’s affection for me. I am, truly, moved by it,” Singh told The Indian Express.
Singh’s nomination underscores once again that he is the quintessential survivor in politics. If he gets into the Rajya Sabha again, this will be his fourth term.
Amar Singh was long considered a shadow of Mulayam until the emergence of son Akhilesh, brother Shivpal, Azam Khan and Ram Gopal Yadav and the family feud within.
In 2010, he was expelled for six years. He launched a new group to garner Thakur votes — only to fail miserably.
Mulayam Singh’s brother Shivpal Yadav said Tuesday that his name was not opposed by anybody in the party’s decision-making body.
Sources said that over the last few months, Amar Singh worked hard to win over his staunch adversary Ram Gopal Yadav, leader of SP in Rajya Sabha. Both patched up at a “delicate” time when anti-incumbency has set in against the Akhilesh Yadav-led SP government in Uttar Pradesh and the party is gearing up for elections next year.
Three of the Samajwadi Party’s Rajya Sabha nominees Beni Prasad Verma, Arvind Singh and Rewati Raman Singh are longtime colleagues and friends of Mulayam Singh Yadav.
The possible emergence of Nitish Kumar, a Kurmi, on Uttar Pradesh’s landscape may have helped the return of Beni Prasad in the SP fold. He has influence in and around Barabanki.
Amar Singh, Reoti Raman Singh and Arvind Singh’s nomination is also being seen to counter BJP’s influence among Thakurs. Sukhram Yadav, an old SP face, too, got the nomination. His father Harmohan was a close friend of Mulayam’s — both were in jail together during the Emergency.
Nominee Vishambhar Prasad Nishad is from the Mallah community. In UP, the BJP is looking at targeting the non-Yadav OBC votes. Nishad’s nomination is being seen in the party as a signal to non-Yadavs. The party’s RS list doesn’t have any Muslim, Brahmin or Dalit leader.