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Departure of an astute politician who towered over political landscape of Hindi heartland

New Delhi: Mulayam Singh Yadav, the founder of the Samajwadi Party and former Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, died at the age of 82. He died while receiving treatment at Medanta Hospital in Gurugram’s intensive care unit. Mulayam was transferred to the hospital’s intensive care unit last week as his condition deteriorated. Mulayam was brought to the hospital after suffering from respiratory and kidney failure. The death comes amid reports that his health was improving. He was a major member of the country’s socialist leadership. He has served as the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh three times. He was described as the leader of the Hindi heartland.

Mulayam Singh Yadav’s journey from a farming family in Etawah to Uttar Pradesh politics, and then to national politics, has been dramatic. His father sent him to training with the aim of becoming a wrestler. He became involved in politics after meeting a socialist politician named Nathu Singh there. As a result of his relationship with Ram Manohar Lohia, Mulayam became one of the young faces of the socialist movement in Uttar Pradesh. He was elected to the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly on a socialist platform in 1967, at the age of 28. Become the youngest member. He was imprisoned for harshly denouncing the emergency. After Lohia’s death, Mulayam moved to a broader platform called the Bharatiya Lok Dal along with other parties.

After four years of infighting, Charan Singh joined the Dalit Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan and became its president. In 1989, he was appointed Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh. Mulayam continued to rule with Congress support as a member of Chandra Shekhar’s Janata Dal in the late 1990s. As the equations at the center changed, Congress cut the power the following year. With this, Mulayam lost his power.

In the meantime, the Samajwadi Party was created. Realizing that only Dalit unification could bring the BJP down, Mulayam Singh clasped hands with Mayawati and reclaimed power. Mulayam, who has been vocal in his opposition to the construction of the Ram temple in Ayodhya, has stated openly that Sangh Parivar politics cannot make Ayodhya a priority. Following the Mandal Commission report, the backward minority vote bank was formed and assumed control. Mulayam was also involved in national politics by 1996. He served as defence minister in Deve Gowda’s cabinet for the next two years. Mulayam ruled over Sambhal, Kannauj, and Azamgarh mandals several times. The battle between his son, Akhilesh Yadav, and his brother, Shivpal Singh Yadav, eroded the party’s influence before Mulayam’s eyes. Mulayam, who supported Shivpal Singh Yadav, had to turn his back on his son and son in return. Allegations of mafia dominance, corruption, and accusations levelled against the party and Mulayam ultimately backfired. Even then, Mulayam Singh leaves, having proved that the politics he started has not expired. 

Mulayam Singh Yadav was out of politics for a long time due to health issues. Mulayam Singh has attended very few public events in recent years. Mulayam, who served as Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh three times, is also the Union Defense Minister. He is currently a Lok Sabha member from Mainpuri. His son is former UP Chief Minister and SP President Akhilesh Yadav. Malti Devi and Sadhana Gupta were his spouses.

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