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From wrestler to UP chief minister, a look at Mulayam Singh Yadav’s political journey

From wrestler to UP chief minister, a look at Mulayam Singh Yadav’s political journey

From wrestler to UP chief minister, a look at Mulayam Singh Yadav’s political journey
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By Oct 10, 2022 11:31:39 AM IST (Updated)

Former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister and founder of the Samajwadi Party Mulayam Singh Yadav died on Monday. Know about his political career here.

Former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister and founder of the Samajwadi Party Mulayam Singh Yadav died on Monday. Earlier this month, he was shifted to the Critical Care Unit (CCU) at Medanta Hospital in Gurugram after his health condition deteriorated.

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Mulayam was undergoing treatment for a kidney infection since August and was shifted to the ICU on October 2. He was put on ventilator support as his oxygen level dropped and blood pressure rose, accompanied by kidney complications.
Who is Mulayam Singh Yadav?
Mulayam Singh Yadav was born on November 22, 1939, in Saifai village, Uttar Pradesh, to Murti Devi and Sughar Singh Yadav. He was one of the six children in his family. Yadav studied political science and earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Karm Kshetra Post Graduate College in Etawah. He also holds a BT degree from AK College in Shikohabad and a Master of Arts degree from BR College, Agra University.
A wrestling match
As a young man, Mulayam nursed ambitions of being a wrestler. It was during a wrestling match in Mainpuri that Mulayam was first noticed by then MLA of Jaswantnagar Nathu Singh. Singh was impressed by Mulayam’s skills and resilience. Singh then groomed Mulayam as his protégé, marking the entry of the political bigwig into politics. Singh also gave Mulayam the Sanyukta Socialist Party ticket on his Jaswantnagar assembly seat and shifted to another, Hindustan Times reported.
Influenced by Ram Manohar Lohia
Mulayam was influenced by the writing of well-known socialist Ram Manohar Lohia. He took part in various socialist movements. Early in his career, Mulayam championed the cause of the lower castes and minorities, who became bedrock support for the politician.
He became the youngest member of the state assembly in 1967 when he contested for a socialist party. In 1974 and 1977, Mulayam was elected to the Assembly. He was arrested and kept in custody for months during the Emergency.
Mulayam lost the elections in 1980, which saw a surge of support for Congress. However, he managed to get inducted into the upper House of the state legislature where he became the leader of the Opposition.
Soon, Mulayam was elected to the lower house as well and became the only leader to hold the position of leader of the Opposition in both the Houses.
Chief ministership
Mulayam’s first stint as the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh was short-lived and lasted from 1989 to 1991. He finally separated from Congress and founded the Samajwadi Party in 1992.
He served as the state’s chief minister two more times in 1993-95 and 2003-2007.
Ayodhya stand-off
The incidents before and after the demolition of the disputed structure in Ayodhya in 1993 played an important role in Mulayam’s political career. He was the chief minister of the state when the incident happened. Mulayam had ordered police firing on kar sewaks or Hindu protesters in Ayodhya in 1990. His actions were condemned by both the Hindus and Muslims with the former accusing him of being heavy-handed and the latter saying he had not done enough to stop Hindu mobs during the rampage.
However, after the mosque was demolished in December 1992, Mulayam emerged as a hero among Muslims, who then started giving him credit for saving the shrine in 1990, BBC reported.
After a prolonged period of presidential rule in Uttar Pradesh, Mulayam came back to power in the elections of 1994 with the support of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP). However, in June 1995 BSP leader Mayawati pulled out of the alliance and joined hands with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
Central politics
In 1996, Mulayam was appointed as the defence minister of India by the HD Dewe Gowda-led United Front government.
His name was also floated by a senior front leader for the post of prime minister. However, Bihar’s Lalu Prasad Yadav was opposed to the idea and Mulayam blamed the Rashtriya Janata Dal leader for the missed opportunity.
In 2012, when the Samajwadi Party gained a full majority for the first time since its inception in Uttar Pradesh, Mulayam chose his son Akhilesh to be the chief minister. The lowest point in his career was the family feud between Akhilesh and Mulayam’s brother Shivpal Yadav for control over the party. The feud ultimately led to the complete transfer of power to Akhilesh on January 1, 2017, who became the party’s national president.
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