What Makes Amar Singh Suddenly Oppose His Own Samajwadi Party on Demonetization?

Samajwadi Party Supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav has opposed demonetisation both inside & outside the parliament. Yet one of the stalwarts of the party, Amar Singh, has flummoxed everyone by supported Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s demonetisation move.

Amar Singh was recently nominated to the Rajya Sabha by SP. “If there is a party whip (against demonetisation) then I will either leave my Rajya Sabha membership if I don’t have to vote or support the whip if RS seat would be dearer to me,” he said.

“My heart is full of pain. I will talk to Mulayam Singh ji. Mulayam ji was the one who stood by me against his son publicly.” Singh was unhappy with statements of senior party leaders against the historic anti-black money move. It is being said that he even met Mulayam Singh to discuss this matter.

Although Singh said that he wouldn’t do anything to hurt the party or Mulayam Singh but there was a limit to tolerance. He also mentioned that even though he will discuss the matter in length with Mulayam Singh, he will abide by whatever final decision the supremo has to take.

“This is my individual opinion. I’m independent…not a ‘gulaam’. I protest the statement that demonetisation was done keeping in view the UP polls,” he responded on why he took a different stand on the issue from the other senior party leaders.

Party ne kaha gola banao sarkar ke virodh me, main gole mein khada ho gaya. Naresh Agarwal ne aadesh diya panktibadh hoke khade hone ka (party asked me to form a circle against the government then I stood in the circle. Naresh Agarwal had ordered us to get in queue),” he clarified on why he supported SP’s stand against demonetisation in the parliament.

It is said that Amar Singh was one the main reasons behind the family feud in Uttar Pradesh. Akhilesh Yadav demanded removal of Amar Singh but he was supported by Mulayam & Shivpal Yadav. Now this major disagreement again puts a question mark on the relations amongst the top brass of the party.

How this disagreement will resolve itself is anybody’s guess. Its impact on the UP elections might not be substantial, but it surely will have an impact on Amar Singh’s personal impression amidst the people. This can be seen as an indication of the public acceptability of Prime Minister Modi’s demonetisation move. Amar Singh might be looking to gain public favour by supporting PM Modi as the people of the country have shown unprecedented support for demonetisation. Amar Singh would never exit the party but he has very intelligently separated himself from the party’s stand (which has gathered no support from anywhere around the country) as he sees it fit for his personal political future.

The recent ‘Bharat Bandh’ was a huge flop. No political party could encourage the common man to come on the streets to oppose demonetisation & SP was no difference. Uttar Pradesh saw business & life moving on as usual as well. This shows that Amar Singh has very smartly understood the sentiment of the people & reacted accordingly.

Vinayak Jain