Veteran politician and former UP Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav passes away at 82!

Veteran politician and former Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Mulayam Singh Yadav passed away on Monday - October 10 at the age of 82 in Gurugram due to the age-related ailments. As a founder of Samajwadi Party, which is a prominent political outfit in the country, Yadav had also served as a Union Minister. 

Known for being a vital political force in Uttar Pradesh, Mulayam Singh Yadav has established what has been a deep-rooted political base in his state and it has been recognized as one of the biggest parties in India. After learning about his demise, several national leaders, including the President and the Prime Minister, have paid tribute and expressed condolences to the family of the deceased. 

Fondly called 'Netaji' by the supporters of Samajwadi Party, Mulayam Singh Yadav had been suffering from prolonged illness. He was critical for a week and had been under lifesaving support at Medanta Hospital in Gurugram. According to reports, he was undergoing treatment for a kidney infection since August 22 and was moved to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) on October 2. 

Mulayam Singh Yadav's son and Samajwadi Party Chief Akhilesh Yadav confirmed the demise of his father after which the nationwide tribute has been pouring in for a veteran leader. Mulayam Singh Yadav had served as the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh for three terms and his political reins were taken over by Akhilesh Yadav, who went on to serve as the Chief Minister. 

Mulayam Singh Yadav has left a rich political legacy. He was a wrestler before plunging into politics. He became popular in the Uttar Pradesh politics during the 1980s and 1990s when protests and agitations over the Mandal Commission, which was formed to identify the socially or educationally backward classes in India, were surging. 

Yadav was first elected as an MLA in Uttar Pradesh in 1967. He was a fervent protester against the state of emergency that was imposed by the Indira Gandhi regime. He was arrested and kept in custody for 19 months. His opposition against the emergency was instrumental in his political career and Yadav became the state minister for the first time in 1977. 

However, he later became the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh with the support of the Congress party. Yadav first became the Chief Minister in 1989 and his government got collapsed in two years - in April 1991 after the Congress party withdrew its support and he lost his reign to the BJP. After parting ways with the Congress, Yadav founded Samajwadi Party in 1992. 

In 1993, he allied with the Bahujan Samaj Party for the assembly elections  and became the Chief Minister for the second time. His government was supported by Congress and Janata Dal and his second term hit with public outcry after a firing on the Uttarkhand activists on October 2, 1994. He continued serving as the Chief Minister till June 1995 and left office after his ally opted into another alliance. 

During later years, Bahujan Samaj Party Chief Mayawati rose as Mulayam Singh Yadav's greatest political rival in the state. In 2002, the BJP and Bahujan Samaj formed the government in Uttar Pradesh and in a year, the government was toppled after rebel legislators of Bahujan Samaj dissented against the government. With enough support of small parties and independents, Yadav became the Chief Minister for the third time in September 2003. 

He contested in the Gunnaur by-poll to retain his post and he won by a record margin, bagging almost 94 per cent of the votes. A year later, in 2004, Yadav contested in the 2004 Lok Sabha polls to expand his politics to a national stage and he won the poll so was the Samajwadi party. However, the Congress party formed the government at the Centre in 2004 due to which he resigned his Lok Sabha seat. 

Yadav then chose to continue as the Chief Minister till 2007 and he stepped down from the post after losing the battle to Bahujan Samaj Party. During his decades-long political career, Mulayam Singh Yadav had served as an MLA for ten terms and as an MP for seven terms. In 1996, he was elected as an MP and he served as India's Defence Minister under the United Front Coalition government. 

After the defeat in the 2007 assembly polls, Samajwadi Party had witnessed the rise of Mulayam Singh Yadav's son Akhilesh Yadav. In the 2012 assembly polls, young Yadav became the Chief Minister and his elevation sparked a family feud as he tookover the baton surpassing Mulayam's brother Shivpal Singh Yadav. There was a discontent between Mulayam and his son Akhilesh and they led their respective factions. 

The feud went in an uproaring fashion where there were firings and counterfirings between the father and son. When Akhilesh fired his uncle, who was supporting his father Mulayam, from the cabinet twice, Mulayam went on to expel his son Akhilesh from the party in 2016 for six years on the grounds of indiscipline. However, Mulayam revoked his decision in 24 hours. 

Countering his father's offensive, Akhilesh fired Mulayam from the party's presidency and named him as the new chief. The feud had approached the Election Commission of India and later, Akhilesh officially became the new national leader of the party. Mulayam Singh Yadav was not in the spotlight of active politics and his son was leading the party.  The former was suffering from prolonged illness. 

Recently, he was moved to the hospital for further treatments. His health got deteriorated further and was put under lifesaving support. Amid the treatment, he breathed his last at 82 in the hospital on Monday. His demise has saddened his supporters and various leaders with Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath declaring that the state will be observe mourning for three days. Confirming the death of Mulayam, his son Akhilesh wrote on Twitter, "My respected father and everyone's leader is no more."