Mulayam Singh Yadav: From wrestler to 'Netaji' : The Tribune India

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Obituary

Mulayam Singh Yadav: From wrestler to 'Netaji'

(November 22, 1939 — October 10, 2022)

Mulayam Singh Yadav: From wrestler to 'Netaji'

File photo



Mukesh Ranjan

Three-time UP Chief Minister and founder of the Samajwadi Party, Mulayam Singh Yadav, dominated national politics in the post-Mandal era with a formidable OBC-Muslim vote base. A trained wrestler, he took to teaching for some time and later entered politics.

Editorial: The Somersault king

Comment: The doyen of UP politics: Despite reverses, Mulayam managed to stay at the top of the game for over 50 yrs

He was elected to the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly 10 times (1967-1996) and the Lok Sabha seven times.

He became a minister in UP for the first time in 1977. He also held the position of Lok Dal president in 1980 and headed the Janata Dal in Uttar Pradesh from

1985 to1987.

He became CM in 1989. On November 2, 1990, his government ordered firing at ‘Kar Sevaks’ in Ayodhya. After the Babri Masjid’s demolition in 1992, he again became the Chief Minister (1993-95). When the Deve Gowda government was formed in 1996, Mulayam was made Defence Minister. He became CM for the third time in 2003.

Mulayam founded the Samajwadi Party in 1992, and from here on his brother Shivpal Singh Yadav became his shield. Often criticised for promoting family and friends, Mulayam always stood by them, even at the cost of inviting criticism from opponents. At one point, he had seven family members in Parliament and the UP Assembly. Mulayam, who never lost an opportunity to attack Indira Gandhi for promoting dynasty, later promoted his son Akhilesh Yadav, who became Chief Minister in 2012.

His friendship with Amar Singh and Bollywood connections were not in sync with his socialist moorings. Yet he successfully managed these contradictions and even flaunted the same with a galaxy of film stars attending ‘safai mahotsav’ at his village. Addressed as ‘Netaji’ by his followers, the SP patriarch was immensely popular in his pocket borough of Mainpuri-Etah-Etawah.

#mulayam singh yadav


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