LUCKNOW: Rajya Sabha MP and former Samajwadi Party leader Amar Singh passed away after a prolonged illness on Saturday in a private hospital in Singapore hospital where he was undergoing treatment for the past six months. Singh, 64, reportedly was in ICU and his family was by his side when he breathed his last.
Singh had suffered kidney failure in 2013 and he had undergone a kidney transplant.
Earlier on the day, he had tweeted a tribute to freedom fighter and educationist Bal Gangadhar Tilak on his death anniversary and also greeted his followers on the occasion of Bakrid.
Amar Singh was the general secretary of the Samajwadi Party and a member of the Rajya Sabha in 1996. Then Singh used to be the central cog of Samajwadi Party’s decision-making machinery. As part of SP patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav’s core confidantes, Singh used to have direct access to Mulayam’s personal space.
“Mulayam Singh Yadav used to take his opinion in all most all the decisions – both personal and political,” says former SP leader Mohammad Shahid, while expressing grief on the demise of the leader.
On January 6, 2010, Amar Singh along with his protege, actor Jaya Prada, had resigned from all the posts of the Samajwadi Party owing to his differences with Rampur strongman and SP leader Azam Khan. He was later expelled by chief Mulayam Singh Yadav on February 2, 2010. He spent a brief period in judicial custody in 2011.
Later in 2011, he tried to revive his declining political career by floating a political outfit -- Rashtriya Lok Manch. Singh fielded candidates in UP Assembly polls in 2012 but without any luck. In 2014, he joined Jat leader Ajit Singh’s Rashtriya Lok Dal.
Born on July 27, 1956, in Azamgarh district of UP, Amar Singh first went to the Rajya Sabha in 1996. He was again elected to the upper House in 2016 as an Independent member but with support from the Samajwadi Party much to the chagrin of then UP CM and SP chief Akhilesh Yadav but then the will of SP patriarch had prevailed. Amar Singh was re-appointed as SP general secretary in October 2016.
However, once considered to be the eyes and ears of Mulayam, Amar Singh severed all his ties with the party after he was expelled again by Akhilesh Yadav on January 1, 2017, after taking over as the SP chief removing his father in a coup of sorts. Akhilesh, who was caught in an intense family feud, expelled Amar Singh as he felt that he was the reason for the rift in Yadav clan.
Singh would be remembered as the only politician who had made friends across the political spectrum. He was fond of Bollywood stars and had enjoyed very healthy friendships with many of them.
Amar Singh and the Bachchans were very close at one point. But in 2016, their relationship strained after the former went public with his complaints against Jaya Bachchan, a Samajwadi Party leader. However, in February this year, he had extended an open apology to the Bachchans for his earlier diatribes.
After detaching himself from SP and taking the vow of never to go back, Amar Singh had come out in support of PM Narendra Modi openly.
He had posted a short video message on March 22 on Twitter from the hospital bed. In the video, he made an appeal to all his followers to support Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the fight against coronavirus.
On March 2, he had posted another video message to end rumours that claimed that he was dead.
“Tiger Zinda Hai,” he had written in his short message posted along with the video. In November 2018, Amar Singh donated a part of his ancestral property worth around Rs 15 crore to Sewa Bharti, an organisation affiliated to Rashtirya Swayam Sewak Sangh (RSS). It included his ancestral house worth Rs 4 crore and 10 bighas of land worth Rs 10 crore in Tarwan village of Azamgarh district.