Veteran Indian politician Mulayam Singh Yadav dies

A champion of backward castes' empowerment, the 82-year-old founded the caste-based Samajwadi Party.


File photo: Reuters

October 10, 2022

NEW DELHI – Veteran Indian politician and former chief minister of the country’s most populous state Uttar Pradesh, Mulayam Singh Yadav passed away at a corporate hospital in Gurugram this morning (October 10, 2022).

A champion of backward castes’ empowerment, the 82-year-old who founded caste-based Samajwadi Party, was admitted to Medanta Hospital’s intensive care unit on October 2 in Gurugram. Yadav was suffering from respiratory complications, reports our New Delhi correspondent quoting sources.

Mulayam’s son Akhilesh Yadav who now heads SP, took to Twitter to announce his father’s demise. “My respected father and everyone’s neta-ji has died,” Akhilesh stated.

According to Medanta Hospital authorities, Mulayam Yadav also had infection in the urinary tract.

During a political career spanning more than half a century, Mulayam, a former wrestler, was elected a legislator for the first time in 1967 when he was 28 years old.

Mulayam founded SP in 1992 and developed its network in UP and other parts of North India. His emergence on the back of caste-based politics in UP corresponds with the rise of Hindutva politics across India in late 1980s and was seen as a counter to the rise of the BJP.

Mulayam powered SP to the pinnacle of Uttar Pradesh politics and became a national figure. He was UP chief minister three times, from 1989-1991, 1993-1995 and 2003-2007. From 1996 to 1998, he was also India’s defence minister in the government of United Front coalition headed successively by H D Deve Gowda and Inder Kumar Gujral.

It was during his tenure as UP chief minister that Mulayam Yadav had ordered police to fire on saffron activists agitating on the Ayodhya temple issue in 1990. Sixteen people were killed in the police action. The incident also led to the rise of Yadav (the core electoral base of SP) and Muslims in the political axis of UP.

Mulayam was away from national political scene for the last few years due to his failing health.

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