Former Samajwadi Party leader and Rajya Sabha MP Amar Singh passed away on Saturday after suffering from a prolonged illness. The 64-year-old former SP strongman, who was once known as the Samajwadi supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav’s right-hand man, was also the party’s link between the party’s regional and its national politics at Delhi.
Even though Amar Singh was considered to be the mastermind behind all the political calculations and prospects of Samajwadi Party in Delhi, he is also widely known for his famous brawl with Congress party leader Mani Shankar Aiyar in 2000.
The fight that took place between Amar Singh and Mani Shankar Aiyar in 2000 is still fresh in the minds of those people who had witnessed it. At a dinner party hosted by Satish Gujral, the brother of former PM IK Gujral, SP leader Amar Singh had thrashed Congress party leader Mani Shankar Aiyar after the latter had passed vile comments against Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh’s mother.
The incident had occurred in November 2000 at a dinner party hosted by Satish Gujral, who had organised it in the honour of HK Dua, former media advisor to prime ministers Atal Bihari Vajpayee and HD Deve Gowda.
In an interview, Amar Singh had narrated the incident, on how he had beaten up Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar, who had came up to him fully drunk and accused him of being a racist. Mani Shankar Aiyar had accused Amar Singh of preventing Sonia Gandhi from becoming the prime minister owing to her foreign origin.
Mani Shankar Aiyar made personal remarks against Amar Singh, Mulayam Singh Yadav
Not only that, but Aiyar had also passed derogatory remarks against Amar Singh by calling him a “political weathercock”. To which, Amar Singh had responded to him by accusing Mani Shankar Aiyar of shifting sides – from Sonia to Mamata Banerjee and back.
In the heated exchange between the two senior politicians, Mani Shankar Aiyar had also made personal remarks against Amar Singh by calling him “a broker of industrialists” and “Ambani’s dog”.
Realising that Mani Shankar Aiyar was extremely intoxicated, Amar Singh said Mani Shankar Aiyar that “it is not you but your wine is talking”. To Amar Singh’s taunt, Mani Shankar Aiyar made a casteist attack against Amar Singh with words like “What sort of a Thakur are you?”
As Singh remained unprovoked despite Mani Shankar Aiyar’s expletives, the Congress leader began to target the then SP leader Mulayam Singh Yadav, narrated Amar Singh.
Training guns at Mulayam Singh Yadav, Mani Shankar Aiyar said to Amar Singh, “We are from the Oxford and Cambridge while your leader can’t even speak English…Mulayam looks just like me. It could be because my father visited UP some time. Why don’t you ask Mulayam’s mother?”
Amar Singh, who was the most trusted lieutenant of Mulayam Singh, got enraged by the vile remarks of Mani Shankar Aiyar against Mulayam Singh Yadav and his mother, pushed the Congress leader to the floor and began to beat him up black-and-blue.
Congress leader had suffered severe bruises
The then Samajwadi Party strongman Amar Singh in another interview had revealed that he had kicked up Mani Shankar Aiyar in the back, resulting in severe bruises on Congress leader’s body.
Years later, Singh had also disclosed how members from various political parties went on to ridicule Mani Shankar Aiyar after the incident and also leveraged this incident to silence Aiyar on the floor of the Parliament.
“Aur us jhadap ne poore rashtra mein itni prasiddhi paayi ki jab Mani Shankar Aiyar sansad ke praangan mein kisi ko beizzat karne khade hote the toh BJP ke sadasya kehte the ‘Mani beth ja nahin to Amar Singh aajayga’ (That brawl was talked about everywhere in the country and it came to a situation where if Mani Shankar Aiyar stood to insult someone in the Parliament Complex, the BJP members would say, ‘sit down Mani else Amar Singh will come’),” Amar Singh had remembered.