New Delhi : One major factor contributing to the Samajwadi Party's humiliating defeat Friday in Uttar Pradesh assembly elections was its general secretary and spokesman Amar Singh, said an erstwhile confidant of party president and outgoing chief minister Mulayam Singh Yadav.
"Samajwadi Party underwent a change in class character in recent years since the emergence of the Amar Singh phenomenon," said former MP K.C. Tyagi, the close friend of Mulayam Friday.
Tyagi, who is now general secretary of Sharad Yadav led Janata Dal-United (JD-U), had left the Samajwadi Party in the late 1990s protesting the takeover of the party by Amar Singh.
Asked what caused the defeat to the party, he blamed the corporate culture that was propagated by Amar Singh, adding "The party of the working and backward class, the minorities and the Dalits became the victim of a person who was in league with the forces of corporate sector."
"I, Beni (Beni Prasad Verma who deserted the Samajwadi Party after the announcement of election results), Azam (Mohammad Azam Khan) and Ram Saran Dass all worked together to build this party. And then he (Amar Singh) changed the class character of the whole party."
Tyagi's comment summarises the anger and annoyance of the very people whose support brought the party to power, first in 1993 and then again in 2003.
A member of Jan Morcha, floated by former prime minister V P Singh blamed Mulayam's defeat and Mayawati-led Bahujan Samaj Party's win on two factors.
Common man, he said, suffered because of the total failure of the Mulayam government on law and order front.
He also blamed Mulayam for constantly being "in the company of Amar Singh, film actors Amitabh Bachchan, Jayaprada, Jaya Bachchan, industrialists Anil Ambani and Subroto Roy, which changed his image as a one-time hard core socialist immensely".