Insiders say that Amar Singh has convinced the Samajwadi Party supremo that he alone could help him fulfill his prime ministerial ambitions. Sharat Pradhan reports
Samajwadi Party president Mulayam Singh Yadav and his one time protégé Amar Singh appear to be equally desperate for a rapprochement for which ground is being hurriedly prepared by none other than Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav.
Three days after Akhilesh chose to dilute a blatant case of fraud, corruption and money laundering initiated by the Mayawati government against Amar Singh by transferring it from the economic offences wing to the Kanpur district police where it was registered originally in 2009, the cops have decided to close the file.
"Lack of sufficient evidence" was described as the reason by the Kanur police, which filed the final report in the case on November 2.
Interestingly, the same reason was given by the Union government's directorate of enforcement, which was assigned the investigation by the Allahabad high court.
It was subsequent to the enforcement directorate's decision that the high court allowed the case to be reverted to the UP government.
The haste with which Uttar Pradesh's EOW paved way for closure of the case clearly reflects the desperation for Amar Singh's 'homecoming'.
Insiders are however, of the view that it was Amar Singh, who was going to gain more in the bargain. "Who does not know how Amar Singh was completely down and out once he lost Mulayam Singh Yadav's patronage. His return to the SP would once again accord him a political status for which he was desperate," observed a senior SP leader, requesting anonymity.
"Initially when Mulayam Singhji expelled Amar Singh from the Samajwadi Party he (Amar Singh) had wrong-notions about himself and thought that he would be in much demand by any other political outfit. But after he failed miserably in his efforts to hook on to any of the Mulayam rivals, he started making desperate bid to return to the party," remarked another prominent SP functionary.
"Actually, Amar Singh is among those who cannot survive without publicity, for which he can play any antics; I am still trying to figure out what card he has played to once again receive the patronage of Netaji, whom he had called all kinds of names and against whom he ran a loud, albeit a fruitless campaign during the last assembly elections," he added.
Political observers are of the view that Amar Singh baited Mulayam by spreading the word around that he alone was capable of carrying out the machinations that would be required to pitch Mulayam for the prime ministerial battle in the event of a hung parliament in 2014.
Amar Singh is understood to have used a bureaucrat to convince Mulayam that only a street smart and manipulative person like him could fulfill his prime ministerial ambitions.
It may be recalled that the case against Amar Singh was registered at the Babupurwa police station in Kanpur on a complaint by a lawyer Shiv Kant Tripathi, who had pointedly accused the politician of playing a Rs 500 crore fraud.
In his complaint, Tripathi had alleged that Amar Singh had misused his position, as chairman of UP Development Council, to amass huge wealth. He had also sought to draw the attention of the authorities to the fraud played by him to fudge financial records of various companies owned by him to convert his ill-gotten wealth into "assets " of his companies.
The cases were registered under the Prevention of Corruption Act and Prevention of Money Laundering Act. Amar Singh's wife Pankaja Singh and superstar Amitabh Bachchan were also named in the FIR as "partners" in his firms.
Image: Amar Singh