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Happy Birthday to the controversial Amar Singh

Amar Singh

By Harshmeet Singh

The former Samajwadi Party leader Amar Singh has long been a mercurial figure in the Indian Politics. Never the one who can be kept out of the news, Singh has had his fair share of political controversies in the past. As he gets ready to celebrate his 60th birthday today, NewsGram is bringing to you the top five controversies related to Singh’s career.

1. Cash for vote scandal

In 2008, a bag filled with cash rocked the floor of the Parliament. The cash for vote scandal took place during the UPA government’s floor test in the Lok Sabha. Singh was charged with arranging the entire scandal and he was later charge-sheeted for the same.

2. The Clinton Cash

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Written by Peter Schweizer, the Book Clinton Cash alleged that Amar Singh donated a sum ranging between $1 million and $5 million to the Clinton Foundation in 2008. The donation was made during the ongoing discussions on the Indo-US nuclear deal.

Hilary Clinton’s support for the bill led to it being passed by a huge majority. Her support to the bill was linked to Singh’s donation. Schweitzer mentioned in his book, “If true, that meant Singh had given between 20% and 100% of his entire net worth to the Clinton Foundation!” 

3. Flip flop with Mayawati

In 2008, Singh accused Mayawati, the erstwhile UP CM, of kidnapping six MPs belonging to the Samajwadi Party just before a trust vote in the parliament. The six MPs were later on expelled from the party! While the two have always shared a cold relationship since then, Singh took a u-turn in 2010 when he praised Mayawati as a ‘political personality in her own right’.

4. Jaya Prada may commit suicide: Amar Singh

Politicians go to any length when it comes to election campaigning. This was Singh’s moment of ‘going to any extent!’

Before the 2009 Lok Sabha polls, while campaigning for Jaya Prada, he said, “If you people do not vote for the bicycle (symbol of Samajwadi Party) and her bicycle does not go to Delhi, then Jaya Prada might commit suicide.”

5. Judge-fixing

A CD containing recorded voices of Mulayam Singh, Amar Singh and Shanti Bhushan came out in 2011. During the conversation, Bhushan could be heard saying that they can bribe the judge with Rs 4 crore to get a favorable decision.

Next Story

Happy Birthday Mayawati, How well do you know her?


By Harshmeet Singh

Rags to riches story, self-obsession, endless controversies and much more, Mayawati’s life is a case study in itself. The Dalit icon and 4 times UP Chief Minister, Mayawati has made her mark in the state and national politics alike.

As she and her followers prepare to celebrate her 60th birthday today, NewsGram brings to you seven relatively unknown facts about the lady who once ruled UP with an iron hand.

  • A WikiLeaks cable in 2011 alleged that she sent her private jet to Mumbai just to bring her a specific pair of sandals! She refused these allegations.
  • After Kanshi Ram’s death, his family members wanted a post-mortem as they suspected foul play. Last year, his sister, Swarn Kaur accused Mayawati of murdering him. She said, “Kanshi Ram was a leader for you but he was a brother for me. Mayawati backstabbed him and destroyed his movement. She murdered him.”
  • The Forbes magazine named her the 59th most powerful women in the world in 2008! The Newsweek also called her the ‘Barack Obama of India’. P.V. Narsimha Rao, the former PM described her rise as the ‘miracle of democracy’.

  • In 1977, the famed Dalit leader Kanshi Ram visited her home in Delhi while she was preparing for the Indian Administration Services examination. He allegedly told her, “I can make you such a big leader one day that not one but a whole row of IAS officers will line up for your orders.”
  • mayawati

    She has been notoriously known for spending fortunes on the statues of Kanshi Ram, herself and her party’s symbol, elephant! She justified the expenditure claiming that this needed to be done since the past governments neglected the Dalit icons! It is said that she spent close to $1 billion on 5 parks and memorials in Lucknow from 2007 to 2009.

  • She has been known for grand birthday celebrations. Before her 47th birthday, her party workers collected Rs 4 crore from the public to celebrate her birthday with grandeur.
  • To satisfy her supporter base, the Mayawati government, in 2007, introduced a 30% reservation in jobs in the private sector. Another quota law was brought in for promotions, but it was later quashed by the Supreme Court of India.