NEW DELHI/LUCKNOW: Even as India was pre-occupied with the threat of a looming Corona pandemic, Amar Singh managed to intrude into political chatter with the simple words “Tiger Zinda Hai”. It was his way of announcing that reports of his death were not true. Singh did not live long after that March tweet from a Singapore hospital but it captured the man. He was a man of words, but also garrulous. He was aware of his importance and preferred to be pompous.
From the humble beginning as “punter” of Kolkata Congress leaders in the ’70s to Thakur Amar Singh of the ’90s who was sought after by netas, corporate houses and celebrities in distress, his metamorphosis is a tale that has long peppered gossip sessions of Delhi and Mumbai evenings.
He shot into national prominence virtually overnight when he emerged as the Man Friday of then Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav in the late ’90s. Singh hand-held the rustic leader through his natural barriers with industry and the upper classes who had emerged politically critical in the post-liberalisation era.