Singh had parted ways with the Congress and unsuccessfully contested against Rajiv Gandhi in 1989. Peeved at his non-inclusion in the V.P. Singh government, he later joined the Chandra Shekhar government as a minister of state. His arrest for his alleged role in the murder of badminton star Syed Modi, whose wife Ameeta he later married, took Singh to the BJP—in ’98, he defeated Congress’ Satish Sharma in Amethi. His return is also being seen in the light of the Congress’ shocking defeat from the Gauriganj assembly seat—part of Amethi—a few months ago.
Analysts, however, attribute another reason. The influential Thakurs of UP, peeved at the invocation of pota against Raja Bhaiyya by the BSP-BJP government, are showing signs of moving away from the combine. The race for upper-caste votes in UP is all set to go full tilt between the Congress and the SP where Amar Singh is believed to control the influential Thakur lobby.