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Samajwadi Party founder and patron Mulayam Singh Yadav died at Medanta Hospital in Gurugram on Monday (October 10) after a long illness. He breathed his last at 8:16 a.m. this morning.

Born on November 22, 1939 in Saifai village of Etawa district in present-day Uttar Pradesh to a poor family, he always wanted to be a wrestler. However, things turned around for him and young Mulayam only started his career as a socialist Sanyukta party MP from Jaswantnagar in 1967. After that, there was no turning back for the stalwart of SP.

Mulayam’s political knowledge, hard work and cunning attributes have contributed significantly to the historic process of integrating regional parties into North Indian politics. He served for three non-consecutive terms as CM of Uttar Pradesh and also served as Minister of Defense in the Government of India. A long-time parliamentarian, he was an MP for Mainpuri constituency in the Lok Sabha and had also previously served as an MP for Azamgarh and Sambhal constituencies.

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Moulayam Singh Yadav’s masterstrokes that proved his mettle in Indian politics:

Alliance between Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party

Yadav founded his own Samajwadi (Socialist Party) in 1992. He became CM for the second time after winning the 1993 Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh, when he formed the government with the BSP, then headed by its founder Kanshi Ram. The alliance between the SP and the BSP prevented the return of the BJP to power in the state.

Withdrawal of cases against dacoit Phoolan Devi

One of his masterstrokes was to withdraw the cases against dacoit Phoolan Devi in ​​1995. His release was facilitated by the withdrawal of 55 cases by the government of UP CM Mulayam Singh Yadav, in “the interest public” – with SP giving her a Lok Sabha ticket from Mirzapur in UP thus presenting her as a mascot of the Nishads.

She won two Lok Sabha elections, in 1996 and 1999. Yadav’s decision was however overturned by the Kanpur court, with the Allahabad High Court upholding the lower court’s decision. The SC also rejected her request to dismiss all charges against her in December 1996.

Phoolan, however, evaded arrest and fought a legal battle against him. In 2001, the SC ordered her that if she wanted relief in the cases against her, she should first go to the Kanpur court. But before she could surrender, she was murdered outside her official residence in Delhi in July 2001.

Stood for the promotion of Hindi

Mulayam Singh Yadav was among the first leaders to publicly champion the promotion of Hindi and launched the Yash Bharti Awards to recognize the works of eminent state figures who have excelled in the field of literature, arts and industry.

His friendship with Hindi poet Gopaldas Neeraj was legendary. The same goes for his links with Amitabh Bachchan and Subrata Roy, The Hindu reported.

He strongly advocated for the use of Hindu language in the official statement. In 2013, he even called for a ban on the use of English in Parliament. In the 2009 Lok Sabha elections, the Samajwadi party manifesto spoke out against “expensive English education” and against computers, saying these would lead to unemployment.

Muslim bonhomie-Yadav

A staunch proponent of secular politics, Mulayam Singh Yadav’s party suffered electoral losses after ordering the shooting of the Kar Sevaks at the top of the Ram Janmabhoomi movement in 1990. BJP affiliates even began calling him “Mullah Mulayam “. However, it helped him forge a strong Muslim-Yadav or MY combination for his party which served him well and he returned to power in 1993.

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Abdul Kalam’s proposed name for President of India

The SP stalwart not only played a crucial role in Uttar Pradesh but also had a say in national politics by maintaining cordial relations with leaders of all parties and being respected for his spirit and his decades-long career.

Mulayam Singh Yadav proposed the name of eminent scientist APJ Abdul Kalam for President of India when BJP was mulling PC Alexander’s candidate while Congress backed Krishna Kanth.

Following this, the consultation process continued and later all the leaders agreed on the name of Kalam and he later served as the 11th President of India from 2002 to 2007.

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