Decoding the three decade old complexed riddle Amar Katha is a great research work; our team has explored all unconventional methods to extract informal information to engage interest of the people reading Opinion Express. Prashant Tewari, Editor-in-Chief, speaks candidly to Amar Singh recently to explore his next political move and road map ahead.
Q Why Amar Singh is controversial name in Indian politics? Is it deliberately designed strategy to be relevant or you love camera and limelight?
A. I am not controversial but I can’t help if the controversy chases me always. For example, Akhilesh Yadav blamed me for the SP split but now that I am not in the party, the division in the SP party remains the same. It is easy to find the scapegoat and remain away from the realities of life. Today I refuse to accept being the punching bag for anyone. Similarly, I had extended full help to Amitabh Bachchan and Anil Ambani during my days of power but they shunted me out when I needed them the most during my tough times. Instead of cooperating with me, they created controversy to push me out. you tell me that my parting away from Ambani family has resulted in reunion of the family? So who is to be blamed? All of them have vested self interest and they act in accordance to the greed for power or money and blame Amar Singh for the fiasco. I have learned practical lesson in life, and I will be dealing with them accordingly. I have learned from the famous Abrahim Lincons quote, “Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” Akhilesh yadav, Amitabh Bachchan, Anil Ambani, Subrora Roy etc are no exceptions. All these characters were the beneficiary of my help during their crisis time, they flourished and prospered riding on my back, and the same characterless people evaded me during my crisis time. I am happy being a small man and let big people like Anil Ambani face the business collapse with crores of debt. Akhilesh has shown his character by deceiving his living father who incidentally is the founder of the party that he is heading today. He is thrown out of power in UP in the recent assembly elections and Akhilesh have no hope in the near future.
Q Your parliamentary track record is phenomenal, the issue raised by you have national impact namely on the farmer, agriculture, defence and industries etc. There are few MP’s who understand synergy of politics and business better than you. Do you think this is the reason why Industry loves you?
A. yes I agree that my track record of being associated with big business houses prior to entering politics is unique. I have worked with Birla’s and Bhartia’s for many years including being the directorship of Hindustan Times. In my golden days, even Reliance and Sahara was beneficiary of my business acumen. Several middle time business groups have made fortunes by associating with me. Surely I have gained experience in the corporate environment that has proved a great value in my parliamentary life.
Q You have matured in a seasoned political mode after three decades of national politics, surely you are a success story in parliament yet people call you “power broker”, “dalal” and “fixer”, why?
A. I feel privileged that frustrated people who are jealous of my political progress do make similar comments. I am from humble background so people in Lutyens Delhi can’t digest my accession to power. There is an elite club that exists in Delhi. Rahul Gandhi, Akhilesh yadav, Omar Abdullha, Tejeswani yadav, Stalin, Jagan Reddy may indulge in much worse corrupt practices in politics but just because they are from the political background, nobody questions their lifestyle, ideology, political integrity. It is only after Chaiwala has become Neta No1 in India, the adjectives are shifted to people who have looted India by promoting dynasties. People with no competence are allowed to occupy high chair are the real power brokers and dalals. So I have left it to the people of this country to identify and shame the real “power brokers”, “dalals” in the Indian politics.
Q How do you rate Narendra Modi four years of rule in Delhi? And how Yogi has performed in UP in the last one year?
A. Excellent. The pro poor scheme launched by PM Modi has touched the last mile in the country. Opening up of 30 crore bank accounts, DBT transfer to bank accounts, free gas cylinder distribution, electricity to all, affordable housing to all are the various schemes. The foreign policy of the Modi government has isolated Pakistan globally. We have become a dependable friend of USA and Israel. The Middle East countries have started cooperating directly with us instead of favouring Pakistan. Look East policy has yielded results and Japan and South Korea are now our dependable allies. On the home front, the naxal problem and internal security remained under control. The corruption in India at the high level has gone down drastically. In UP, Yogi Government has done a great work on law and order front. UP has struggled in the Mandal and Kamandal politics since three decades so yogi government has a challenge to overcome the psyche of the people and make the development agenda the priority so that 22 crore people of UP can taste the benefit of development as rest of India has witnessed in the past. Amar Singh made it amply clear that he liked the leadership of PM Modi and now his entire life was dedicated to him.
Q You were the architect of Mahagatbandhan in 1996 when Devegowda was made the PM, what difference do you feel that prevails in India today when entire opposition is united against Narendra Modi?
A. Simple, 1996 opposition unity was success because there was no clear face of governance wherein in 2019; Narendra Modi is a decisive clear leader challenging the entire opposition. The track record of Modi since 2014 and the corruption free governance is likely to be the key for the imminent success of Modi and definite failure of Mahagatbandhan. Nobody in India knows the insight of the then coalition and its weakness better than me. I have worked closely with SP, TMC, RLD, JD(U), TDP leadership and I know the ambitions all the regional players, surely none of them have a national footprint and sheer dream of placing any regional leader as the PM will be a certain flop show. Making it amply clear that I like the leadership of PM Modi and now my entire life will be dedicated to him. And I will aggressively campaign against the “bua-babua jodi” (Mayawati-Akhilesh Yadav) emerging in UP ahead of the LS elections. “I am an independent MP and still four years of my tenure are left. I will prefer to do aggressive campaigns for PM Narendra Modi and CM yogi Adityanath as I don’t approve of buababua jodi.”
Q You are a politically obsessed person going ahead, how do you see your role in the coming months specially when all important national elections are due in 2019 and 80 parliamentary seats of UP is likely to decide the next PM of the country?
A. Narendra Modi pro poor clean image will overpower everyone in the next general elections in India and UP. I have no doubt that Modi’s national stature with Amit Shah driven BJP organizational strength, yogi’s hard work will overpower opponent. Additionally, RSS will be very proactive under Sarkaryavah Dattaji Hosabale, sitting and functioning from Lucknow as his main functioning centre. And when you look at the probable opponents than a miserable picture emerges in mind. The SP is broken in several small family groups and BSP is just a caste specific party with a limited appeal now. Congress is left with no clear ideology and assertive leadership and aging long queue of regional leaders namely Devegowda, Sharad Pawar, OP Chauthala, Lalu yadav, Mulayam Singh yadav are on the wrong side of the life so to throw a serious challenge on Narendra Modi will be virtually impossible for them in the coming general elections. People have a clear choice of opting for a nationalist honest leader verses corrupt family ridden politics of discredited leaders.
Amar Singh in conversation with Prashant Tewari Editor-in-Chief Opinion Express