Samajwadi Party (SP) founder Mulayam Singh Yadav, who was the leader of political maneuvers and the axis of the politics of the opposition for decades, never got away from the political spectrum. Mulayam Singh Yadav, who was once a master of the wrestling arena, later proved to be a master wrestler of the political arena as well. He breathed his last on Monday (October 10) at Medanta Hospital in Gurugram. Mulayam Singh, popularly known as Netaji among supporters, remained active in politics for nearly six decades, and if he got famous during this journey, he also faced failure. But nothing could affect his popularity.
Early days and struggle
Born on November 22, 1939, in a family of farmers in Saifai village of Etawah district of Uttar Pradesh, Mulayam was active in student politics during his early days. He taught for some time in an inter-college after earning a degree in Political Science. He was elected MLA from Jaswant Nagar seat for the first time in the year 1967. He strongly opposed the declaration of emergency in the country by the then Indira Gandhi government in the year 1975. After the Emergency ended in 1977, he became the president of the Uttar Pradesh unit of the Lok Dal. Mulayam, who had an unmatched ability to know the pulse of politics, was elected to the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Council in the year 1982 and during this time he was also the Leader of the Opposition in the Upper House till 1985.
Was Defense Minister, but UP remained his political arena
He also created the most prominent political clan of the state. He was a 10-time MLA and was also elected MP for seven terms. At one time he was also seen as a contender for the post of Prime Minister. He was a national leader for decades but Uttar Pradesh was mostly his political arena. Influenced by socialist leader Ram Manohar Lohia, he started his political journey in Uttar Pradesh and became the Chief Minister of the state thrice. Even after the Samajwadi Party’s reins came into the hands of Akhilesh Yadav in the year 2017, Mulayam Singh Yadav remained Netaji for the party supporters and his presence on the stage gave hope to keep the Samajwadi clan connected.
Mulayam specialized in ‘manipulative’ politics
Socialist Mulayam Singh Yadav always kept the political possibilities open and he was a politician who used every opportunity. Yadav, who was also considered an expert in the politics of manipulation, was associated with many parties from time to time. These include Ram Manohar Lohia’s Samyukta Socialist Party and Charan Singh’s Bharatiya Kranti Dal, Bharatiya Lok Dal and Samajwadi Janata Party. Later in the year 1992, he formed the Samajwadi Party. Mulayam Singh Yadav also made agreements with the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), the Congress, and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) if needed to form or save his government in Uttar Pradesh. In the year 2019, he surprised everyone by giving ‘blessing’ to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to return to power in at the Centre.
When SP leader was called ‘Mullah Mulayam’
He became the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh for the first time in the year 1989. During this, the Ram Janmabhoomi movement gained momentum while bringing the politics of the country and the state under its influence. A gathering of kar sevaks took place in Ayodhya and on October 30, 1990, the police opened fire, in which five kar sevaks were killed. After this incident, the then Chief Minister of the state Mulayam Singh Yadav came under the target of BJP and other Hindutva organizations, and he was even called ‘Mullah Mulayam’.
Joining hands with arch-rival BSP
In November 1993, Mulayam Singh Yadav once again became the Chief Minister of the state with the support of BSP, but later his government fell due to withdrawal of support. After that Yadav turned to national politics and won the Lok Sabha elections from Mainpuri in 1996. Mulayam also briefly appeared as a prime ministerial candidate during the opposition parties’ attempts to create a non-BJP alternative to the Congress. However, he was made the Defense Minister in the United Front government headed by HD Deve Gowda. Sukhoi fighter aircraft deal with Russia was also done during his tenure. Later, Mulayam Singh Yadav once again turned to the politics of Uttar Pradesh and became the Chief Minister of the state for the third time in the year 2003. He was also the Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly when the BSP government was formed after the 2007 assembly elections.
Mulayam was engaged in uniting the family till the last moment
In the year 2016, the split started in the Yadav family. The war of supremacy started between the then Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and his uncle Shivpal Singh Yadav and on January 1, 2017, in the party’s emergency national convention, Mulayam Singh was replaced by his son Akhilesh Yadav as the party president. However, Mulayam Singh was made the patron of the party. Shivpal formed his own party in the year 2018 in the name of ‘Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party’ after not getting proper ‘respect’ in the party. During this, Mulayam kept trying his best to unite his clan.
Mulayam had revolutionary qualities since childhood
To know about the title ‘Dhartiputra’ (son of the soil) given to Mulayam Singh, it is necessary to throw light on his political life. Mulayam Singh Yadav, who was born before independence, had the quality of revolutionary since childhood and this is confirmed by the fact that he had joined the rally against the then Congress government at the age of just 14. Little did he know the activities of his childhood would make him a shining star of politics in years to come.
7 times MLA from the seat gifted by Guru
Mulayam Singh’s father wanted his son to become a wrestler but his luck did not want to limit him to wrestling. In 1962 when Mulayam Singh had arrived to participate in a wrestling competition. Mulayam’s wrestling skills impressed Chaudhary Nathu Singh Yadav, who was present there, and after which Nathu Singh took Mulayam with him. Nathu Singh had not only made him meet Ram Manohar Lohia but also gave the Jaswantnagar seat of UP to his disciple as a gift and he was asked to contest from there in 1967. Nathu Singh was a member of Praja Socialist Party. Mulayam lived up to his guru’s expectations and won the election. Later, he clinched the assembly elections from this seat seven times.
After entering politics, Mulayam Singh Yadav focused on removing the evils present in society. Be it untouchability or the caste system, he always opposed it. It is said that under this effort, he had given a feast at home to Valmiki and the people of Dalit society at the wedding of his younger brother in Saifai. He also worked for the backward and scheduled castes. Raised voice for the interests of the working class. He got a lot of support from these sections of society and as a result, he won the seat from his mentor in the mid-term elections of 1967, 1974 and 1977. Due to becoming the voice of the weaker sections of the society, he came to be known as ‘Dhartiputra’.