NEW DELHI: Former Samajwadi Party leader Amar Singh, who joined Ajit Singh-led Rashriya Lok Dal today, said in an interaction CNN-IBN that he was “ashamed and apologetic” about his past statements against senior political leaders that may have been derogatory.
“I am ashamed and apologetic for my past statements against Sonia Gandhi and even L.K. Advani ji,” he told the channel, adding he was also apologetic about raking up the foreign origin issue against Congress President Sonia Gandhi. Jaya Prada, who was expelled along with Singh from SP and joined RLD with him, also appeared with him for the interaction.
Defending himself, Singh said that his decision to join the RLD just before the nation goes to polls in not political opportunism, but something that is prevalent in Indian politics.
“I always say this that when everyone else does it, it is raasleela and when Amar Singh does it, his character is dheela,” he said, quoting a popular Hindi film song “Tum karo toh raasleela, main karun toh character dheela (If you do it, it’s justified, but if I do it, I am in the wrong).”
Singh also hit out at his former party, saying he felt “liberated” after being ousted from the party. “As the spokesperson of the party, I had to defend its leaders and stands. But it was just my lip movement while the words were of Mulayam Singh Yadav…thankfully, I don’t have to defend the SP’s misdeeds anymore,” he said.
In 2010, Amar Singh and Jaya Prada were expelled by Mulayam Singh Yadav-led Samajwadi Party on allegations of anti-party activities.
The Rashtriya Lok Dal will continue to be a member of the United Progressive Alliance, Ajit Singh said at a press conference. Congress today finalised a pre-poll pact with RLD and Mahan Dal, giving 8 seats to RLD and 3 to Mahan Dal for the Lok Sabha polls.
While Singh, currently a member of the Rajya Sabha, will contest the Lok Sabha elections from Fatehpur, RLD will field Jaya Prada from Bijnor.
According to reports, Jaya Prada was earlier approached by Congress to contest elections from Moradabad. She is currently a Member of Parliament from Rampur. Amar Singh also conceded that there was no offer for him to join Congress either from the party or Sonia Gandhi, while maintaining that relations between him and the Congress supremo were cordial and normal, in spite of his jibes targeting her while he was an SP member.
“I never applied for a membership of the Congress. Maybe I was expecting too much by thinking that I will be invited to join the party…I’m not far from Sonia ji even today. I have joined the RLD, which is a Congress ally in the UPA,” Singh said.