Amar Singh, Jaya Prada join RLD
Ending months of speculation, expelled SP leaders Amar Singh and Jaya Prada on Monday joined the Ajit Singh-led Rashtriya Lok Dal ahead of Lok Sabha polls.
Mr. Amar Singh is tipped to contest Lok Sabha polls from Fatehpur while Ms. Jaya Prada could enter the electoral fray from Bijnore.
Addressing a press conference at RLD chief Ajit Singh’s residence-cum-office, Mr. Amar Singh said he was not joining RLD for electoral politics.
“I and Jaya Prada undertook a 1000 km long padyatra in eastern UP despite both my kidneys failing,” he said.
“I realised that development of UP cannot be done without its bifurcation. Ajit Singh has always supported the formation of Harit Pradesh, which is very important. The kind of clarity that Ajit Singh has about creation of states like Poorvanchal, Bundelkhand and Harit Pradesh is lacking in leaders of major parties,” Mr. Amar Singh said.
Actor-turned-politician Ms. Jaya Prada said Mr. Ajit Singh always used to support her and she and Mr. Amar Singh will do everything to strengthen the party.
“We have no personal fight with Narendra Modi or BJP. Rajnath Singh is my friend as well. “There are ideological differences in politics. Is it some kind of gang war?” Mr. Amar Singh said when asked why he was joining an anti-Narendra Modi alliance when there is a talk of a wave in favour of the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate.
However, he hastened to add that “the politics of BJP is not in my DNA.”
Ms. Jaya Prada, who is an MP from Rampur Lok Sabha seat, was brought into Samajwadi Party with the efforts of Mr. Amar Singh, who was then the party General Secretary and was a close confidant of SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav. With the fall of Mr. Amar Singh in the party, her fortunes too had begun to fall.
The bad blood between Ms. Jaya Prada and SP veteran Azam Khan had made headlines, but the cine actress had won the last Lok Sabha polls from Rampur despite stiff resistance from Mr. Khan.
The influential Muslim leader had in May 2009 quit all party posts protesting against SP’s decisions like aligning with Mr. Kalyan Singh and fielding Ms. Jaya Prada from Rampur.
For last few months there was intense speculation that the two could join Congress. Ms. Jaya Prada is learnt to have met party president Sonia Gandhi sometimes back.
However, the Congress was apparently not comfortable about inducting Mr. Amar Singh. There was also a problem in fielding Ms. Jaya Prada from Rampur seat on Congress ticket as it was a seat of prominent Muslim leader from the party Begum Noor Bano.