Jaya Bachchan and Amar Singh: The distances that politics brings between people who used to be close friends once

Indian politics is famous for bringing together people who were on the opposite ends of the scale at one point of time, and separating those who used to be counted as close friends. We already see this day in and day out, however, this does become more challenging when you see this happening in the case of people whom you do not expect to see such easy acceptance of the realities of politics.
Consider the case of the friendship and association between the Bachchans and Amar Singh. Amar Singh was once the close link between the earthy casteist Samajwadi Party and the fashionable world of Indian business and movies. Amar Singh was the one who brought in a number of his friends from movies to the world of politics and to bring more glamour to the SP. Prominent among these were the 2 lady politicians, Jaya Prada and Jaya Bachchan. The friendship between the Bachchans and Amar Singh was not only political, they would go to support each other when either one of them was in some trouble, and one can be sure that when Amitabh Bachchan was facing some pressure from the Income Tax authorities, Amar Singh would have tried to call in some help.
And then Amar Singh became too ambitious, wanting to be the second-in-command of the Samajwadi Party when there were a number of relatives of Mulayam Singh, primarily his brother and son, wanting to be known as the next set of leaders, right next to ‘Netaji’. After a period of separation, he was finally kicked out of the posts of the party and then from the party itself. He was followed soon after by Jaya Prada, but Amar Singh was expecting Jaya Bachchan to also make her exit from the party in his support, and that did not happen then, and is unlikely to happen now; she is going to be renominated by the SP for her Rajya Sabha MP seat, that too at at time when the reduced presence of the SP means that it cannot re-elect all the Rajya Sabha MP’s it had earlier (link to article):

The split between Amar Singh and Jaya Bachchan is now official. In a surprise move, the Samajwadi Party (SP) on Wednesday decided to field Jaya Bachchan in the biennial elections to the Rajya Sabha. The SP parliamentary board has decided to re-nominate its outgoing Rajya Sabha MP Jaya Bachchan in the elections slated for June 10, party spokesman Rajendra Chaudhary said in Lucknow.
Owing to Jaya Bachchan’s proximity to expelled general secretary, Amar Singh, there were speculations within the party that she would not be given a ticket again and the SP may field its national spokesperson Mohan Singh to one of the two Rajya Sabha seats falling vacant.

Well, one really cannot expect anything different from politicians, and there would be nothing to gain in supporting Amar Singh, far more profitable to support a party that is being wooed on and off by the Congress.

2 comments to Jaya Bachchan and Amar Singh: The distances that politics brings between people who used to be close friends once

  • Indian politicians, whatever else they may be, are very pragmatic and very good at not burning their bridges.

  • Bhandaru Srinivas Rao (I.I.S.)

    Kudos to Sonia, Singh – Bhandaru Srinivasrao(I.I.S.)

    Last week, the Congress-led UPA government at the Centre has announced a 14-member National Advisory Council. Significantly, for the first time, the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh and the UPA Chairperson, Sonia Gandhi, seems to have taken utmost care to ensure nominating only apolitical personalities with excellent professional and academic track records.
    Does the ‘realization’ have come among the political parties, especially the Indian National Congress, while choosing people for such an important panel? Has the ‘mind set’ of Congress leadership changed for good?
    The members of the high-profile NAC include eminent scientists, academics, intellectuals and civil society activists. While four members of the previous NAC — Aruna Roy, Jean Dreze, N.C. Saxena and A.K. Shiva Kumar – have been re-nominated to the panel, the rest are new faces.

    The new names include agriculture scientist M.S. Swaminathan, technocrat V. Krishnamurthy, also a member of Planning Commission, economist Narendra Jadhav, Mirai Chatterjee, coordinator of social security at NGO SEWA, civil rights activist Farah Naqvi, vice-chancellor of North-Eastern Hill University, Shillong, Pramod Tandon, and former IAS officer and social activist Harsh Mander.

    Ram Dayal Munda, MP, entrepreneur Anu Aga of Thermax Ltd and Madhav Gadgil of Agharkar Research Institute, Pune, have also been nominated to the new NAC that is expected to push for inclusive growth and social justice.

    In its last incarnation during the first tenure of the United Progressive Alliance, the NAC became identified with signature social sector reforms such as introduction of the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme and the Right to Information Act.
    It is no secret that it is a brainchild of Congress party president, Sonia Gandhi Sonia. It is also informally called as UPA’s Planning Commission for social agenda. On 23 March 2006, Sonia Gandhi had resigned from the post of chairmanship of the NAC after Office of profit controversy. On 29 March 2010, she was back as the chairperson of NAC.
    Though it was initially meant to guide and implement in the Common Minimum Programme of the UPA-I, now it was asked to play its role to foster the social agenda of UPA-II. The NAC serves as an interface between the government and the Congress party.
    That the other members of this council are nominated by the Prime Minister in consultation with the Chairperson, give credence to my argument – that’s change in the ‘mind set of the party leadership.” The funds for the functioning of this council are provided from the budgetary allocation for the Prime Minister’s Office.
    I wish to join those millions, who wish to hail Sonia and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, for overlooking claimants among political parties. Indeed, a good sign, as those who nominated not only high-profile and eminent personalities, but can guide the country impartially in designing and implementing the social agenda of the UPA-II to benefit those who need the help most.(22-06-2010)

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