Notwithstanding former Samajwadi Party general secretary Amar Singh's claims that his "illness" had forced him to step down, party sources said it was a deliberate sideline by SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav's son Akhilesh Yadav that prompted Singh to withdraw in anger.
"I can assure you that this is just Amar Singh's way of showing his anger against the manner in which he has been sidelined in the current campaign for elections to 36 seats of the Uttar Pradesh Vidhan Parishad (state legislative council)," said a senior functionary of the party.
And to buttress his argument, he pointed out, "If you take a look at the publicity material that has been put out as a part of the campaign for the poll that was due on January 7, you will hardly find Amar Singh's pictures."
Even Mulayam's one time close associate actor-turned-politician Raj Babbar, who dissociated himself from SP because of Amar Singh's dominance, agrees with the view.
"With Mulayam's son Akhilesh taking over the reins of Uttar Pradesh SP, Amar Singh stood relegated in the background. Though it was a good sign for the party, it was something this arrogant man cannot take," Babbar told rediff.com over telephone from New Delhi.
"But I am sure, it will do a lot good to SP as well as all Samajwadis across the country," he said.
Babbar, who was now a Congress Member of Parliament from Firozabad, where he defeated none other than Mulayam's daughter-in-law Dimple Yadav at the November by-elections was least surprised at Amar Singh's much-touted resignation.
He also did not rule out a possibility of Singh's return.
"I would not be surprised if Mulayam Singh Yadav goes running to plead with Amar just as he did a few months back when the SP general secretary played similar melodrama," said Babbar.
"After all, he is the SP man who knows to much and has already started hinting at spilling the beans," he added.
Other prominent SP detractors of the Samajwadi Party agree with Babbar.
Former UP minister Azam Khan, who remained SP's key Muslim face until his disgust with Amar Singh led him to march out of the party in 2009, said, "Singh has done great service to the Samajwadi Party by stepping down from the general secretary's position."
Khan spoke to rediff.com over telephone from his hometown Rampur.
"I really hope and pray that he also resigns from the primary membership of the party and return to the colourful life of the film world that was his appropriate home."
He did not rule out the possibility of Amar Singh joining hands with former Bhartiya Janata Party leader Kalyan Singh, who floated his own outfit -- Jan Kranti Party -- on Tuesday. "I will not be surprised if Amar Singh now brushes shoulders with Kalyan Singh, who formed his new political outfit on Tuesday; I am sure he could do a great job as Kalyan's new adviser," he said.
Beni Prasad Verma, a one-time close confidante of Mulayam, said, "If the news is actually true, then it would prove to be a boon both for the Samajwadi Party as well as Mulayam Singh Yadav."
However, he added, "But I am not ready to believe Amar Singh because of his old habit of playing gimmicks and melodrama.""But for the dominance of Amar Singh, the Samajwadi Party would have never got the kind of beating it received at the recent elections," he said.