In Memoriam: Netaji Loses Last Bout In Life’s Dangal

Lucknow / Saifai: An era of socialist politics has come to an end with the death of Mulayam Singh Yadav. Netaji as he was fondly known came into politics after adopting first wrestling then teaching profession and remained part of many parties.  He mentored many big leaders but after that Samajwadi Party was formed and ruled U.P. not once twice but thrice. During the Ram Mandir movement, Mulayam played a lead role. Mulayam Singh Yadav was elected to the Legislative Assembly in Uttar Pradesh 8 times from 1967 to 1996.

Once a member of the Legislative Council from 1982 to 87. In 1996 itself, he contested the first election to the Lok Sabha and was elected. Since then, he reached the Lok Sabha 7 times so far. Still a member of Lok Sabha. In 1977, he became a minister in UP for the first time.  He was then given the Department of Co-operative and Animal Husbandry.

He took over the post of Lok Dal President in 1980. He was the President of Janata Dal in Uttar Pradesh in 1985-87. Became the Chief Minister of UP for the first time in 1989. Became Chief Minister for the second time in 1993-95. He became CM for the third time in 2003 and remained on the throne for four years. When the Deve Gowda government was formed in 1996, Mulayam became the Defense Minister in it.

He learnt the tricks of politics from Ram Manohar Lohia and Charan Singh in the 60s. It was Lohia who brought him into politics. Lohia’s Samyukta Socialist Party gave him a ticket in 1967 and he won the election for the first time and reached the assembly. After that he continued to win in the state elections.

If his first party was the United Socialist Party, then the second party became the Bharatiya Kranti Dal led by Chaudhary Charan Singh. In which he joined in 1968. When the Samyukta Socialist Party merged with Charan Singh’s party, the Bharatiya Lok Dal was formed. It became the third party of Mulayam’s political innings.

Mulayam Singh Yadav married his first wife, Malti Devi, in 1957 who died in May 2003 after a prolonged illness. He has a son from Malti Devi. Mulayam and Malti Devi’s son Akhilesh Yadav also entered politics and served as the 20th Chief Minister of UP. Akhilesh was the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh from 2012 to 2017. Mulayam had a long relationship with Sadhna Gupta. Both got married in 2003. At the same time, Sadhna Gupta died on 9 July 2022. Sadhna has a son named Prateek Yadav from his first marriage. Prateek’s wife Aparna Bisht Yadav joined BJP in 2022. Akhilesh’s wife Dimple Yadav has served twice as a member of the Indian Parliament from the Samajwadi Party representing Kannauj.

In a rare political attribute, be it the Ram Mandir movement or on the day of his tussle with Mayawati, Mulayam Singh Yadav never made personal attacks on opponents. There was a quality of Mulayam Singh Yadav that he always kept room for all to thrive. In 2003, he took the support of the BJP, while at the same time supported the falling government of UPA on the issue of nuclear deal. He was always called team man.  For many in the ranks of the SP, Netaji was the fine example of Ganga Jamuni Tehzeeb. On one call of the stalwart, party workers were ready to give their all.  Netaji instilled the belief among Muslims that they are also entitled to equal status in the country and everyone is respected.

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