Three nominations to the Rajya Sabha have put the Samajwadi Party cauldron on the boil in Uttar Pradesh where Assembly elections are just a few months away.
The nomination of Amar Singh, Beni Varma and Sanjay Seth to the Rajya Sabha by Mulayam Singh Yadav this week has led to a silent revolt in the party ranks.
Amar Singh’s nomination was strongly objected to in the central parliamentary board meeting in Lucknow where Mulayam Singh was finally authorised to take the call. And Mulayam did so by announcing his name two hours later.
Mohd Azam Khan, the Muslim face of the party, told reporters, “The nomination of Amar Singh to the Rajya Sabha is unfortunate and painful, but Mulayam Singh is the malik of the party.” In the Rajya Sabha, Amar Singh will have to put up with hostile colleagues in his own party because there is no love lost between him and Prof Ram Gopal Yadav, Jaya Bachchan and Beni Varma—the latter had even left the Samajwadi Party in 2007, citing Singh as the reason.
Beni Varma’s return to the party and nomination to the Rajya Sabha, incidentally, has also caused considerable heartburn in the Samajwadi Party.
“Amar Singh and Beni Varma are people who have abused our leaders when they left the party. Varma, in particular, compared Mulayam Singh Yadav to a sweeper. How can our workers be expected to accept these leaders and pay obeisance to them? These developments prove that your worth will be recognised only if you leave the party, abuse the leaders and then make a grand comeback. If Beni Varma was such a powerful leader, why did he and his son lose their seats?” asked a party MLA angrily.
The Samajwadi Party is simmering with discontent on the nomination of controversial builder Sanjay Seth, who allegedly shares business interests with Prateek Yadav, younger son of Mulayam Singh Yadav.
Sanjay Seth had faced an ED raid a few months back and it was on this ground that UP Governor Ram Naik had refused to nominate him to the UP Vidhan Parishad.
“Our leaders have apparently lost their vision and ideology and that is why people who have never worked for a single day in the party are being sent to Rajya Sabha. Do you think party workers are going to take this lying down? Sanjay Seth’s nomination to the Rajya Sabha should be condemned in the strongest possible way so that other political parties do not follow this line,” said a minister in the UP government.
The Samajwadi Party list for the Rajya Sabha does not have a single woman candidate or a Muslim candidate and this has also angered the party cadre who feel that this will have an adverse impact in the elections.
“The party prides itself on its Muslim vote base, but could not find even a single suitable candidate for the Rajya Sabha. Dimple Yadav is said to be trying to get women play a more prominent role in the party, but could not ensure even a single woman candidate in the list. Apparently, the leadership was more interested in making way for the likes of Sanjay Seth,” a Muslim woman MLA said.
The Shahi Imam of Delhi’s Jama Masjid, Syed Ahmad Bukhari, also flew down from New Delhi to register his protest on this issue and, for once, Mohd Azam Khan agrees with the Shahi Imam.