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Mulayam Singh Yadav no more: How ‘Netaji’ turned the political landscape in Uttar Pradesh


Samajwadi Party founder and patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav died on Monday at a Gurugram-based Medanta Hospital after a prolonged illness. He was 82-year old. Born on November 22, 1939 into a farming family in Saifai near Etawah in Uttar Pradesh, Yadav spawned the state’s most prominent political clan.

Mulayam Singh Yadav who has been the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh for three terms had played a crucial role in both state and national politics. Mulayam Singh Yadav’s political career span more than six decades. The deceased leader of had a political career ranging in several roles and has been part of Uttar Pradesh’s state assembly and Vidhan Parishad. He was elected an MLA 10 times and an MP, mostly from Mainpuri and Azamgarh, seven times.

The veteran SP leader has part Uttar Pradesh state assembly in the year 1967, 1974, 1977, 1985,1989,1991,1993 and 1996. He has been the CM of Uttar Pradesh first from 5 December 1989 till 24 January 1991, his second term was from 5 December 1993 till 3 June 1996 and final term was from 29 August 2003 till 11 May 2007.

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Samajwadi Party: Initial Years

Mulayam Singh Yadav founded the Samajwadi Party on 4 October 1992. The election symbol of this party was the bicycle. The leader was associated with various political parties before he founded the SP which includes Lokdal, Janata Party(Secular), Janata Party, Bhartiya Lok Dal,Bhartiya Kranti Dal and Socialist Party.

For the first time in 1967, Mulayam Singh Yadav contested the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections from Samyukta Socialist Party. and he won from the Jaswantnagar seat Uttar Pradesh’s politics was going through an era of turmoil in late 1960s and early 1970s and it was during this time that farmer leader Chaudhary Charan Singh’s Bharatiya Kranti Dal was gaining prominence in the state particulary in the western part of the state.

In 1974 Mulayam left the Socialist Party and joined the Bharatiya Kranti Dal and won the assembly election on the ticket of Bharatiya Kranti Dal.

For decades, he enjoyed the stature of a national leader but UP largely remained the “akhara” where Yadav played out his politics, beginning as a teenager who was influenced by socialist leader Ram Manohar Lohia.

A “socialist”, Yadav was open to possibilities in politics. Thanks often to mergers and splits, he had been affiliated with a series of parties — Lohia’s Sanyukt Socialist Party, Charan Singh’s Bharatiya Kranti Dal, Bharatiya Lok Dal and Samajwadi Janata Party. He founded his own SP in 1992.

Kar sevaks razed the 16th century mosque in December 1992, the same year Yadav founded the SP, which began to be seen as an ally of the Muslim community. In November 1993, Yadav again headed a government in UP, supported by the BSP. It collapsed when the ally pulled the rug.

In 2003, Yadav became UP chief minister for the third time after the collapse of a short-lived BSP-BJP coalition government.

In 2012, the SP was again in a position to form the UP government. But the senior Yadav stepped aside so that his son Akhilesh could become the state’s youngest CM at 38.

Author of Samjavad Ka Saarthi Sanjay Lather writes in his book ‘Samjavad Ka Saarthi’ that in intial years Mulayam Singh Yada had no resources to campaign

Sanjay Lather writes in his book ‘Samjavad Ka Saarthi’, Biography of Akhilesh Yadav that Mulayam had no resources to campaign during those times. It was at this time that Mulayam’s friend Darshan Singh came forward and helped him.

Both Darshan Singh and Mulayam Singh Yadav used to go from village to village and gave the slogan ‘Ek Vote, Ek Note’ as they had no resources to fight the election. Mulayam Singh Yadav would ask for one rupee in donation and promise to return it with interest.

Yadav served as defence minister and as chief minister of Uttar Pradesh thrice.

*With inputs from agencies

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