Biography of Mulayam Singh Yadav

Mulayam Singh Yadav (22 November 1939 – 10 October 2022) was
an Indian politician and the founder-patron of the Samajwadi Party. He served
for three non-consecutive terms as the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, and
also served as the Minister of Defence, Government of India. A long-time
parliamentarian, he was the Member of Parliament, representing the constituency
of Mainpuri in the Lok Sabha, and has also earlier served as the Member of
Parliament from Azamgarh and Sambhal constituencies. He was often referred to
as Netaji (meaning respected leader in Hindi) by party leaders and workers.

Early life and education

Mulayam Singh Yadav was born to Murti Devi and Sughar Singh
Yadav on 22 November 1939 in Saifai village, Etawah district, Uttar Pradesh,


Yadav had three degrees in political science — a B.A. from
Karm Kshetra Post Graduate College in Etawah, a B.T. from A. K. College in
Shikohabad, and an M.A. from B. R. College, Agra University.


Personal life

Yadav has married twice. His first wife, Malti Devi, was in
a vegetative state from 1974 until her death in May 2003 following
complications while giving birth to their only child, Akhilesh Yadav. Akhilesh
was Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh from 2012 to 2017.


Mulayam had a relationship with Sadhana Gupta while still
married to Malti Devi in the 1990s. Gupta was not well known until February
2007, when the relationship was admitted in India's Supreme Court. Sadhana
Gupta has a son named Prateek Yadav (born 1988), from her first marriage.


Prateek's wife Aparna Bisht Yadav (born 1990) joined BJP in
2022. Sadhana Gupta died in July 2022 after a brief illness.


Early political career

Groomed by leaders such as Ram Manohar Lohia and Raj Narain,
Yadav was first elected as a Member of the Legislative Assembly in Legislative
Assembly of Uttar Pradesh in 1967. Yadav served eight terms there In 1975,
during Indira Gandhi's imposition of the Emergency, Yadav was arrested and kept
in custody for 19 months. He first became a state minister in 1977. Later, in
1980, he became the president of the Lok Dal (People's Party) in Uttar Pradesh
which became a part of the Janata Dal (People's Party) afterwards. In 1982, he
was elected leader of the opposition in the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Council
and held that post until 1985. When the Lok Dal party split, Yadav launched the
Krantikari Morcha party.


Chief Minister

First term

Yadav first became Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh in 1989.


After the collapse of the V. P. Singh national government in
November 1990, Yadav joined Chandra Shekhar's Janata Dal (Socialist) party and
continued in office as chief minister with the support of the Indian National
Congress (INC). His government fell when the INC withdrew their support in
April 1991 in the aftermath of developments at the national level where it has
earlier withdrawn its support for Chandra Shekhar's government. Mid-term
elections to Uttar Pradesh assembly were held in mid-1991, in which Mulayam
Singh's party lost power to the BJP.


Second term

In 1992, Yadav founded his own Samajwadi Party (Socialist
Party). In 1993, he allied with the Bahujan Samaj Party for the elections to
Uttar Pradesh assembly due to be held in November 1993. The alliance between
Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party prevented the return of BJP to power in
the state. Yadav became chief minister of Uttar Pradesh with the support of
Congress and Janata Dal. His stand on movement for demanding separate statehood
for Uttarakhand was as much controversial as his stand on Ayodhya movement in
1990 was. There was a firing on Uttarakhand activists at Muzaffarnagar on 2
October 1994, something for which Uttarakhand activists held him responsible.
He continued holding that post until his ally opted into another alliance in
June 1995.


Third term

In 2002, following a fluid post-election situation in Uttar
Pradesh, the Bharatiya Janata Party and Bahujan Samaj Party joined to form a
government under Dalit leader Mayawati, who was considered to be Yadav's
greatest political rival in the state. The BJP pulled out of the government on
25 August 2003, and enough rebel legislators of the Bahujan Samaj Party left to
allow Yadav to become the Chief Minister, with the support of independents and
small parties. He was sworn in as chief minister of Uttar Pradesh for the third
time in September 2003.


Yadav was still a member of the Lok Sabha when he was sworn
in as chief minister. In order to meet the constitutional requirement of
becoming the member of state legislature within six months of being sworn in,
he contested the assembly by-election from Gunnaur assembly seat in January
2004. Yadav won by a record margin, polling almost 94 per cent of the votes.


With the hope of playing a major role at the centre, Yadav
contested the 2004 Lok Sabha elections from Mainpuri while still Chief Minister
of Uttar Pradesh. He won the seat and his Samajwadi Party won more seats in
Uttar Pradesh than all other parties. However the Congress party, which formed
the coalition government at the centre after the elections, had majority in the
Lok Sabha with the support of the Communist parties. As a result, Yadav could
not play any significant role at the centre, Yadav resigned from the Lok Sabha
and chose to continue as chief minister of Uttar Pradesh until the 2007
elections, when he lost to the BSP.


Cabinet minister

In 1996, Yadav was elected to the eleventh Lok Sabha from
Mainpuri constituency. In the United Front coalition government formed that
year, his party joined and he was named India's Defence Minister. That
government fell in 1998 as India went in for fresh elections, but he returned
to the Lok Sabha that yearfrom Sambhal parliamentary constituency. After the
fall of Atal Bihari Vajpayee government at the centre in April 1999, he did not
support the Congress party in the formation of the government at the centre. He
contested Lok Sabha elections of 1999 from two seats, Sambhal and Kannauj, and
won from both. He resigned from Kannauj seat for his son Akhilesh in the


Positions held

Mulayam Singh Yadav has been elected 10 times as MLA and 7
times as Lok Sabha MP.

Criticism over comment on rape

The crime of rape became a capital offence in India
following the 2012 Delhi gang rape incident. Yadav has opposed this change in
the law, saying that "Boys will be boys. Boys commit mistakes". In
response to 2014 Badaun gang rape and Yadav's comments, UN Secretary-General
Ban Ki-moon said "We say no to the dismissive, destructive attitude of,
'Boys will be boys'". On 19 August 2015, Yadav remarked that gang-rapes
are impractical and rape-victims in those cases tend to lie. He was summoned by
the Judicial Magistrate of Mahoba district court in Uttar Pradesh for that


Support for a sovereign independent Tibet

Yadav has said it is necessary for India to support a
sovereign and independent Tibet. He said that a past government had made a
"big mistake" on the issue and noted that he had spoken against it at
the time.He believed that Tibet was a traditional buffer between China and
India and that India should support the Dalai Lama and Tibetan independence. Claiming
that China had secreted nuclear weapons in Pakistan, he cautioned that
"China is our enemy, not Pakistan. Pakistan can do us no damage".


Family feud

Since the young Akhilesh Yadav became Chief Minister of
Uttar Pradesh in 2012, surpassing Mulayam's brother Shivpal Singh Yadav, the
Yadav family was divided into two feuding groups. One of the groups, led by
Akhilesh, enjoyed the support of his father's cousin and National General
Secretary Ram Gopal Yadav. The rival group was led by Mulayam Singh and
supported by his brother and State Chief of Party, Shivpal Yadav, and a friend,
former MP Amar Singh. Akhilesh had fired his uncle twice from his cabinet as it
was seen by many as a direct challenge to his father, who has steadily
supported Shivpal over Akhilesh. On 30 December 2016, Mulayam Yadav expelled
his son Akhilesh and his cousin Ram Gopal from the party for six years on the
grounds of indiscipline, only to revoke the decision 24 hours later. Akhilesh,
in response, stripped his father off the party presidency and instead named him
the chief patron of the party following the national convention of the party on
1 January 2017. Mulayam termed the national convention as illegal and directly
expelled his cousin, Ram Gopal Yadav, who had convened the national executive
convention. But the Election commission of India ruled that Ram Gopal Yadav had
the right to convene that executive convention, and reversed Mulayam's order.
Hence Akhilesh Yadav officially became the new national leader of the party.