LUCKNOW: It was a fitting tribute to wrestler-turned-politician Mulayam Singh Yadav – a dominating figure in the politics of the Hindi heartland for nearly four decades – that his mortal remains were consigned to flames in his native village Saifai in Etawah district of Uttar Pradesh.
Three-term Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, 10-time MLA, seven-time MP and the Union Defence Minister in late nineties, he was not only one of the most important figures of the nonCongress, non-BJP spectrum, but also one of the few politicians who remained connected to his roots.
‘Netaji’, as he was popularly known as, 82-year-old Yadav passed away at a private hospital in Gurugram on October 11. Also called ‘Dharatiputra’ (son of the soil), he was born and brought up in Saifai village and also started his political career there. After reaching the pinnacle of power, he turned the remote village into an affluent locale that has all the modern facilities.
One of the pioneers of the Mandal politics in North India, he founded the Samajwadi party in 1990, which ruled Uttar Pradesh for over a decade – under him and his son Akhilesh – and remains a major political factor in regional and national politics till date.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi condoled Mulayam Singh Yadav’s demise and said he was widely admired as a humble and grounded leader who was sensitive to people’s problems. “Shri Mulayam Singh Yadav Ji was a remarkable personality. He was widely admired as a humble and grounded leader who was sensitive to people’s problems,” PM Modi said.
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