Samajwadi Party founder Mulayam Singh Yadav passes awaytext_fields
Gurgaon: Samajwadi Party founder Mulayam Singh Yadav who was critical and on lifesaving drugs in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), at Medanta hospital in Gurugram, passed away on Monday, PTI reported. He was 82.
The three-time Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh was considered a key component in opposition politics, though ill health forced him out of the limelight on the national stage for the last few years.
Popularly referred to as "Netaji" by Samajwadi Party supporters and leaders, Mr Yadav had also served as the country's Defence Minister.
The former wrestler hit the headlines in UP politics in the late 1980s and early 1990s when protests and agitations over the Mandal Commission, set up to identify the socially or educationally backward classes in India, were at their peak.
Later, Mr Yadav established a reputation for partnering not just with his friends, but also with his rivals, his association with Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) leader Mayawati for a short-lived alliance government in UP being a clear case in point.
Along with emerging as a major political force in UP, Mr Yadav's brush with power at the centre was eventful.
In 1996, he became the Defence Minister of the United Front government. Later, in 1999, after the fall of the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government at the centre, Mr Yadav decided not to back Congress leader Sonia Gandhi, though he had initially assured her of his party's support.
In 2012, when Samajwadi Party returned to power in UP, an ailing Mulayam Singh Yadav passed on the baton to his son Akhilesh. However, as fissures within the family widened, he left everyone shocked when he expelled Akhilesh from the party in 2016, just ahead of the crucial 2017 assembly elections in UP. The father-son duo later patched up, with Akhilesh emerging as the powercentre of Samajwadi Party.
(with inputs from agencies)