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In changed political landscape, will Amar-Mulayam ‘bromance’ bear fruit?

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Lucknow: It is undoubtedly the most keenly followed ‘bromance’ of Uttar Pradesh. Every time former Rajya Sabha member Amar Singh meets Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Mulayam Singh Yadav and members of his family, rumour mills work overtime to announce the imminent rapprochement between the one-time inseparable duo.

Photo credit: oneindia.com
Photo credit: oneindia.com

But despite half a dozen official meetings between the two sides and many secret ones, Amar Singh’s re-entry into the party, where his writ ran till a few years ago, sources say, is no “cake walk”. Having parted ways bitterly and acrimoniously a few years back, senior leaders of the ruling party say re-entry is “neither going to be easy nor welcome”.

“Why should he be brought back into the party fold? He has hurled the choicest expletives on our leadership, has tried all tricks up his sleeve to humiliate and run down the party, labelled us goons and crooks…for most of us, he continues to be a non-political entity and a pariah,” a senior minister in the UP cabinet told IANS pleading anonymity given the sensitive nature of the issue. He, however, in the same breath, admitted that the SP chief had indeed gone ‘mulayam’ (soft) on the wily Thakur.

Sources inform that the nowhere Thakur for now is seeking greener pastures within his one-time alma mater, having failed to get success in all other parties – Congress, BJP where he tried his hands while in political wilderness.

“He has tried to cosy up to almost everyone from Sonia Gandhi to Narendra Modi and had, in fact, unsuccessfully contested the Lok Sabha polls last year on Ajit Singh’s RLD ticket,” said a senior leader, while trying to underline the ‘grasshopper’ tendencies of Amar Singh.

The SP leadership is not only wary of the Thakur but is also circumspect on the “take home” he brings while walking back into the party fold. Known for his networking in Bollywood and the political class while he was with the SP, insiders say Amar Singh has lost his utility for the party.

“Akhilesh Bhaiyya (Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and Mulayam Singh Yadav’s son) is much more mature. He has his own set of officials and party leadership to move ahead. I do not see any vacancy for Amar Singh,” a close aide of his chuckled.

Other stumbling blocks in Amar Singh’s entry seemingly are party general secretary Ram Gopal Yadav and minister Mohd Azam Khan, whose hatred for Amar Singh is well-known and documented. The duo, who hold sway over the Yadav chieftain, are bitterly opposed to Amar Singh’s re-entry and are said to be trying their best to stall any such move that is in the offing.

Khan and Ram Gopal were instrumental in getting Amar Singh kicked out of the party. Azam Khan and Ram Gopal, cousin of Mulayam, have in the past called him a “dalaal, pimp and good for nothing”. While the public rant has stopped, apparently at the behest of Mulayam Yadav, the undercurrent against Amar Singh has not diminished. Sources also said that Akhilesh Yadav too is not favourably disposed towards “uncle Amar Singh”.

Amar Singh met Akhilesh, Mulayam and Shivpal this week, but there has been very little headway except for niceties. Amar Singh, on his part, at least does not want to be appearing to prostrate before the Yadav durbar and has maintained that he is “happy” the way he is.

In a conversation a few months ago with this correspondent he said that he was “happy taking a back seat” from public life, spending quality time with his wife and twin daughters and caring for his health after his kidney transplant.

The lure of power and politics are, however, two great temptations, it is said. Only time will tell which way the tides turn in this endless political saga in Uttar Pradesh!

(Mohit Dubey, IANS)

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Vivo To Invest Rs 4,000 Crore For New Plant in Uttar Pradesh

There are currently more than 70,000 retailers in India where Vivo phones are available and the company has more than 200 exclusive stores and two experience centres

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Vivo
Vivo announces Rs 4,000 crore investment for new UP plant. (IANS)

Chinese smartphone maker Vivo on Thursday announced an additional investment of Rs 4,000 crore over a period of four years for opening a new manufacturing plant on the Yamuna Expressway in Uttar Pradesh that will generate 5,000 jobs in its first phase of expansion.
The new 169-acre land has been acquired near the existing 50-acre manufacturing facility that will help expand Vivo’s manufacturing capabilities and support its continued growth in the country, the company said in a statement.

The Rs 4,000-crore investment, which does not include the cost of the land, will also spur job opportunities in the region, added Vivo that entered India in 2014.

“India is a key market for us, and today we have reiterated our commitment by entering the next phase of growth in India. We’re proud that the new plant will offer a major benefit to the surrounding area through high-quality job creation and training opportunities,” said Nipun Marya, Director-Brand Strategy, Vivo India.

According to the company, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath welcomed the initiative and congratulated it.

Currently, all Vivo smartphones sold in the country are being manufactured at the Greater Noida facility, which is one of Vivo’s four manufacturing factories globally.

The existing manufacturing set-up, which saw an investment of Rs 300 crore, produces two million units a month, with more than 5,000 people at work.

With the new facility, Vivo aims to double the current production capacity to 50 million units per annum.

Vivo
Currently, all Vivo smartphones sold in the country are being manufactured at the Greater Noida facility, which is one of Vivo’s four manufacturing factories globally.

This is the second big-ticket investment from a global smartphone maker in Uttar Pradesh.

In 2017, Samsung announced that it would invest Rs 4,915 crore to double its manufacturing capacity for smartphones and refrigerators at its Noida plant.

The South Korean giant in July set up one of the world’s largest mobile manufacturing facilities in Noida, Uttar Pradesh, which was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and South Korean President Moon Jae-in.

When it comes to Vivo, the company was third with 10 per cent market share in India, after Xiaomi and Samsung, in the third quarter this year. Vivo performed exceedingly well in offline channels, said Counterpoint Research.

Marya told IANS in a recent interview that in terms of value, Vivo is the leader in the Rs 20,000-Rs 30,000 segment and overall No. 2 in the Indian smartphone market for the past 18 months.

Also Read- Oracle Witnessing Double-Digit Growth in India For Past 3 Years

According to him, the brand awareness of Vivo, which bagged the title sponsorship for five consecutive sessions of Indian Premier League (IPL) starting this year with a whopping Rs 2,199 crore bid, is 100 per cent.

There are currently more than 70,000 retailers in India where Vivo phones are available and the company has more than 200 exclusive stores and two experience centres.

“When we entered India, we were very clear that we wanted to build a very strong foundation here. And four years after entering the Indian market, we stay totally committed to the country,” he said. (IANS)