Independent Rajya Sabha MP and former Samajwadi Party leader Amar Singh passed away on Saturday at a hospital in Singapore where he was undergoing treatment for a kidney ailment since March. He was 64.
Survived by his wife Pankaja and twin daughters Disha and Drishti, Singh was credited with bringing the SP to support the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government in 2008, after the Left withdrew support over the Indo-US nuclear deal.
Singh skillfully navigated the intersection of politics and corporate world and then imbued it with a dash of filmy glamour to imprint his stamp on the coalition-era politics.
He was expelled from the Samajwadi Party by then president Mulayam Singh Yadav in 2010 for "anti-party activities," along with his protege, actress Jaya Prada from Andhra Pradesh, whom he had brought into the party and helped her win the Lok Sabha election from Rampur in UP in 2009. He was a known go-getter and parties feared him because of his political machinations in engineering defections. He had friends in all political parties.
In a condolence message, AICC general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra tweeted: "May God give shelter to the soul of Shri Amar Singh ji in his deeds. My sincere condolences to the family of Shri Amar Singh ji. I express my deepest condolences to his bereaved wife and daughters in this sad moment."
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh tweeted: "There is a feeling of sorrow from the news of the demise of senior leader and MP Shri Amar Singh. During public life he had friendship among all the parties... My condolences to his heartbroken family."