3-time UP CM Mulayam Singh Yadav passes away at 82

Singh was suffering from a urinary infection as well, the hospital sources said.
He was admitted to the Medanta Hospital in Gurugram on August 22.
He was admitted to the Medanta Hospital in Gurugram on August 22.ANI

Lucknow/ Gurugram: Veteran Samajwadi leader and Member of Parliament, Mulayam Singh Yadav, died here Monday after a prolonged illness. His son and former chief minister Akhilesh Yadav tweeted about his demise.

Mulayam was 82 and had been on a life support system for the past week.

He was admitted to the Medanta Hospital in Gurugram on August 22.

According to hospital sources, he breathed his last at 8:15 am on Monday. The 82-year-old Samajwadi Party patriarch was facing difficulty in breathing and was under the supervision of an internal medicine expert at the Medanta Hospital, the sources said.

Singh was suffering from a urinary infection as well, the hospital sources said.

On Sunday, Medanta Hospital put out a health bulletin stating that the veteran leader's condition was quite critical and that he was on life-saving drugs.

Mulayam was known as 'Dhartiputra' and remained a true son of the soil. His style of politics was firmly grounded and success and failure did not affect him.

He was one of the last of his generation of politicians who kept his values intact and did not corporatise his politics.

For him, the last man in the line remained important - whether it was from his family, his village, or his state.

Mulayam was a friend of friends and even turned his foes into friends.

He first contested the assembly polls from Karhal in 1967 on Ram Manohar Lohia's Samyukta Socialist Party ticket.

Groomed by the likes of Lohia and Raj Narain, Mulayam served eight terms as a member of the state assembly.

In 1975, during Indira Gandhi's imposition of emergency, Mulayam was arrested and kept in custody for 19 months.

Mulayam first became a state minister in 1977.

Later, in 1980, he became the president of the Lok Dal in Uttar Pradesh which later became a part of the Janata Dal.

In 1982, he was elected leader of the opposition in the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Council and held that post until 1985.

When the Lok Dal party split, Mulayam launched the Krantikari Morcha party. He first became the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh in 1989.

Being a shrewd politician, he had the uncanny knack of sensing the upheavals in politics.

After the collapse of the V P Singh national government in November 1990, Mulayam joined Chandra Shekhar's Janata Dal (Socialist) party and continued in office as the chief minister with the support of the Congress.

His government fell when Congress withdrew support in April 1991 and Mulayam lost to the BJP in the midterm elections. In 1992, Mulayam founded his own Samajwadi Party and then allied with the Bahujan Samaj Party for the elections to the Uttar Pradesh assembly held in November 1993.

The alliance between the Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party prevented the return of the BJP to power in the state and Mulayam became the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh with the support of Congress and Janata Dal.

Mulayam's stand on the movement for demanding separate statehood for Uttarakhand was as much controversy as his stand on the Ayodhya movement in 1990.

In 1995, the SP-BSP alliance broke with the infamous State Guest House incident but Mulayam made sure that his party bounced back to power in 2003.

He was sworn in as the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh for the third time in September 2003.

Mulayam contested the 2004 Lok Sabha elections from Mainpuri while he was still chief minister of Uttar Pradesh.

However, he later resigned from the Lok Sabha and continued as chief minister till 2007 when the SP lost to the BSP in the state elections.

Mulayam was one of the few politicians who blatantly promoted nepotism and had no qualms about it. At any given time, there were about a dozen family members in politics in Uttar Pradesh.

“He always pushed us into politics and asked us to make a career for ourselves. It was always he who decided what was best for us and took a keen interest in our careers,” said one of his nephews.

Mulayam valued his friends deeply.

Whether it was Beni Prasad Varma or Azam Khan, Mohan Singh or Janeshwar Mishra - each one had a special place in his life.

His war with Balram Singh Yadav and Darshan Singh Yadav in Etawah had acquired legendary proportions, but Mulayam, over some time, managed to change his equations and both became his friends.

He shared a love-hate relationship with the media.

His famous 'Halla Bol' agitation against some newspapers grabbed national headlines.

However, Mulayam made sure that his relationship with journalists never deteriorated.

Even if he ticked off a scribe for his writing, he made sure to call out to him and mend fences at the earliest.

For party workers, Mulayam remained their beloved 'Netaji' - one who was always approachable and available.

"I do not remember a single occasion when I went to meet Mulayam and came back without doing so. He remembered even the smallest party worker by name and it was this that endeared him to everyone,” said a senior party MLA.

Mulayam was one chief minister who enjoyed the full loyalty of his bureaucrats.

He took tough decisions and his officers implemented them. Many say that the politicisation of bureaucracy began only after Mulayam became the chief minister.

In the past five years, after Akhilesh Yadav took over the reins of the party, Mulayam had withdrawn into a shell.

The changing dynamics in the party reduced the stream of visitors to a trickle and Mulayam - for the first time, became a lonely man.

"He would often ask us if anyone was waiting to meet him. He loved going to the party office and relished the hustle-bustle there. At home, he had almost nothing to do and this bothered him," said one of his close staff members.

Mulayam was disturbed by the recent happenings in his family - daughter-in-law Aparna joining the BJP, and the split between son Akhilesh and brother Shivpal.

He made no public mention of it but it was clear that he was deeply affected by what was happening. Sources said that the demise of his second wife Sadhana Gupta Yadav in July this year left Mulayam distressed and lonely and this led to a deterioration in his physical condition.

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