Gurugram: Samajwadi Party (SP) Founder and three-time Uttar Pradesh (UP) Chief Minister (CM) Mulayam Singh Yadav passed away this morning at Medanta Hospital in Gurugram. He was 82. He was to turn 83 in six weeks.
Though he had been away from active politics for a while, with his son Akhilesh Yadav, also a former UP CM, leading the party since 2017, he was counted among prominent Opposition forces in the country. For the Party, he remained “Netaji”.
Profile: Born to Murti Devi and Sughar Singh Yadav on Nov. 22, 1939 in Saifai village of Etawah district in UP, Mulayam Singh Yadav was the supremo of the Samajwadi Party. He was a member of Lok Sabha, representing Azamgarh Constituency of Uttar Pradesh.
The three-time UP Chief Minister, Mulayam Singh rose in UP politics in a period of intense social and political ferment after the 1970s. Emerging as a socialist leader, he soon established himself as an OBC stalwart, capturing a swathe of political space vacated by the Congress. He took oath as UP’s 15th CM in 1989, which marked the year when the Congress was voted out, failing to return to power in the State ever since.
Also a former wrestler, Mulayam Singh was known to be an astute politician who didn’t flinch when it came to striking deals, even with bitter rivals. For power in UP, he joined hands with Mayawati’s Bahujan Samaj Party, the BJP or the Congress whenever he needed to.
In his long career, he was affiliated to a series of parties — his mentor Ram Manohar Lohia’s Samyukt Socialist Party, Charan Singh’s Bharatiya Kranti Dal, Bharatiya Lok Dal and Samajwadi Janata Party. He founded the Samajwadi Party in 1992. In 1996, when Opposition parties tried to form a non-BJP alternative to the Congress, Mulayam Singh was briefly among the candidates for PM.
One of UP’s top politicians, Mulayam Singh was also the Union Defence Minister in 1996-98.
Soon after learning about the demise of the SP founder, Prime Minister Narendra Modi recollected his relationship with the veteran leader and tweeted: “Shri Mulayam Singh Yadav Ji was a remarkable personality. He was widely admired as a humble and grounded leader who was sensitive to people’s problems. He served people diligently and devoted his life towards popularising the ideals of Loknayak JP and Dr. Lohia.”
CM Bommai pays tribute
In a tweet today, Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai too paid tributes to the Samajwadi Party founder Mulayam Singh Yadav.
Mulayam Singh Yadav will be cremated in Saifai, his native village in Etawah district, tomorrow afternoon.
“The body of netaji is being taken to Saifai. On Oct 11, he will be cremated at around 3 pm,” the Samajwadi Party sources said.