Rajya Sabha MP and former Samajwadi Party leader, Amar Singh breathed his last on Saturday. A political heavyweight for many years, he had been suffering from a kidney-related ailment for some time now.
While Singh was expelled from the SP along with Jaya Prada in 2010, he appeared to be on amicable terms with the party. In 2016, he was elected to the Rajya Sabha from Uttar Pradesh as an independent member with support of Samajwadi Party.
Following his passing, condolences have poured in from all quarters and across party lines. Many political leaders took to Twitter to reminisce about and mourn the loss.
For many years the political leader had counted Bollywood icon Amitabh Bachchan and businessman Anil Ambani among his close friends. And while he had had a falling-out with Bachchan some time ago, earlier this year, the two had moved towards a reconciliation.
But while their relationship had been the talk of the town on many occasions, there was a period of time when Singh and actor Bipasha Basu had repeatedly made headlines. The reason? An allegedly taped conversation between the two. Soon reports that quoted Singh as telling the actor that "age mattered between the legs" was doing the rounds.
Now before we explain further, it must be mentioned that both individuals have denied these reports. While Bipasha in a statement had dismissed the claim as being completely untrue, Singh had told an interviewer that while he had indeed said it, the conversation had not been with Bipasha. Rather, he had said that it was a joking remark made to a male friend from the film industry.
"I have only seen Bipasha twice in my life, that too, in a crowd," he had noted. Barring this, Singh had said that he had had no other interaction with the actor.
"I am not someone who runs away from relationships, of any nature. They are not something to be ashamed of, or embarrassed about. But here, there is nothing to deny. My 2005-2006 24 hours, 365 days’ taped telephone conversations can be checked, there is not a single conversation between me and Bipasha. And thank god it is not there. The Bipasha Basu of 2006 phoning somebody would be very flattering for anyone, but I did not get that opportunity of feeling flattered," the Times of India interview had quoted him as saying.
“The voice in the recording is certainly not mine. I dare say that my voice has distinct characteristics and the voice on the tape is completely different. Nothing could be farther from the truth,” Bipasha had said.
The controversy however refuses to die down completely, and many have continued to speculate on the same, even years later. Incidentally, the Supreme Court had in 2011 lifted a five year gag order that had restrained print and electronic media from publishing and broadcasting the taped conversations. The transcript was then published by Midday.