Bollywood to Tihar, Amar's journey into loneliness


By Hindustan Times

High-profile, former Samajwadi Party general secretary, Amar Singh’s journey from star-studded parties to Tihar jail shows how he has been left alone by his friends, who once ranged from politicians and corporate honchos to Bollywood bigwigs. The outspoken Rajput leader, whose meteoric rise during the last 15 years, had earned him many rivals, perhaps was aware of the difficult days ahead.

During the last couple of months, he visited many temples and met religious leaders to get rid of his troubles. “The difficult phase would get over, I am a fighter,” he had told reporters last week. It was not to be.

An unconventional politician, controversial in many ways, Singh rode the wave of success between 2004 and 2009, when he enjoyed the confidence of SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav. He was regularly seen in the company of Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan and Anil Ambani.

Singh never shied away from boasting about his links and would receive and make calls in public to the big names he knew.

Though he was the face of the SP and in many ways indispensable, resentment was building up against him among many party veterans, including Azam Khan and Mohan Singh.

For his part Amar Singh seemed not bothered by this.

Singh continued to be powerful till the 2009 general elections, but the results which gave the Congress and its allies, almost a comfortable majority, left Singh and the SP slightly marginalised.

His problems within the party began, when Khan opposed Singh’s close friend Jayaprada’s nomination from the Rampur Lok Sabha seat.

Singh’s differences kept widening with the party and in January 2010, he finally quit the SP after returning from a kidney transplant surgery in Singapore. Only Jayaprada left SP the party with him.

Singh floated a non-political Rajput manch a few months later, but followers such as Sanjay Dutt made quiet exits. The biggest sign of Singh’s increasing isolation came when he and Bachchan resigned from each other’s companies.