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Amar Singh Changes Track, Praises Mayawati, Sonia

Trying to warm up to his long-time bete noire Mayawati, rebel SP leader Amar Singh on Saturday  said the BSP supremo has proved herself against all odds and he can understand her "pain" when she
PTI January 30, 2010 14:48 IST
PTI

Trying to warm up to his long-time bete noire Mayawati, rebel SP leader Amar Singh on Saturday  said the BSP supremo has proved herself against all odds and he can understand her "pain" when she was "humiliated" by Mulayam Singh Yadav.

Stating that he was not without alternatives, Singh, who has been sparring with his SP detractors ever since he quit key party posts, also heaped praise on Congress President Sonia Gandhi.

Both Mayawati and Gandhi have "proved themselves against all odds", Singh, who is under pressure to quit his Rajya Sabha seat, said.

"Both of them are political personalities in their own right. One lady has proved herself in the state of UP against all odds and the other has proved herself in the country against all odds," Singh told CNN-IBN in an interview.

On Mayawati, he said, "Now I can sense her pain of the guest house episode," while recalling the incident in which Samajwadi Party workers had surrounded the Uttar Pradesh State Guest House in Lucknow in 1995 and roughed her up after BSP had withdrawn support to the Mulayam Singh Yadav government.

Reacting to Singh's statement, SP spokesman Mohan Singh said he is praising Mayawati and Gandhi because he has run out of options.

"I think after appreciating them, he will abuse them. To comment on that will be like getting fooled. There is a defect in his personality and this defect is not of today," Mohan Singh said.

Amar Singh said, "As long as she (Mayawati) was supporting the government, all her wishes were fulfilled humbly. But the day she decided to withdraw support...not Mulayam Singh himself but the entire Yadav clan tried to surround her in guest house and ill-treated her."

He said the same treatment was now being meted out to him though for 14 years he was "obedient, blind-folded and endorsed" everything.

"I am not a man without an alternative," he said, adding that since he had criticised all the parties - Congress, BJP and BSP - as a spokesman of the SP, his party thought that Amar Singh cannot go anywhere and would have to return to the parent party.

Asked whether he was closer to Mayawati, he said, "I have not met her".

Claiming himself to be a "shield" of the SP chief, Singh said, since "I (have) ceased to play the role of that shield, it will be a litmus test for Mohan Singhs and Ramgopals to prove themselves." Ramgopal Yadav, brother of Mulayam Singh Yadav, has been critical of Amar Singh.

Mohan Singh said Amar Singh was in "wilderness" now and was engaged in praising Mayawati and Gandhi.

He said Singh lauded Mayawati as his court cases are to come up soon and his firms are under investigation by the state government.

"Amar Singh's attempt is to see that Mayawati softens," the SP spokesman remarked. PTI