Good, Bad and Bubbly: Mulayam’s life full of twists and turns

The demise of the Samajwadi leader Mulayam Singh Yadav has left so many memories good, bad and bubbly.

The Samajwadi Party founder will be known for many things done and many undone. Two marriages along with a massive feud and much more – people would remember Mulayam with everything belonged to his life.

Talking about everything over the ex-SP chief’s family and life there is a lot, people would be busy discussing now when he is no more.

Mulayam Singh Yadav breathed his last on Monday at a Gurugram hospital succumbing to his  prolonged illness. He was in the hospital for more than two months where finally he was shifted to the ICU of Gurugram-based Medanta Hospital.

The November 1939 born opened his eyes in a farmer family of Saifai in Uttar Pradesh. The journey of life then saw him as a wrestler cum teacher. The turn next was revolutionary not only for him but for his next generations too. He joined politics and was active opposing Indira’s infamous Emergency in 1975. He was jailed also for his ‘antigovernmental’ activities during the MISA.

Serving as the three time Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Mulayam Yadav was as helming the Defens Ministry during the Deve Gowda government.

Coming to his family front, Mulayam Singh Yadav was married twice. Malti Devi, the first wife passed in 2003 due to an illness. Now the Samajwadi Party supremo and the former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav is the couple’s only son.

Then Sadhana Gupta entered in the SP Founder’s life as  the second wife first and this came into light in the year 2007 when he filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court showing his income. Here with the documents presented by him also confirmed his listing of Prateek Yadav as his son who was Sadhana’s son from her earlier marriage.

This followed an infamous ‘feud’ among the Mulayam family had hogged spot lights when he elevated Akhilesh Yadav to Chief Minister of the state in 2012. Mulayam’s son Prateek Yadav and his brother Shivpal Yadav were among the ones who were hit badly.

On one hand Mulayam’s cousin Ramgopal Yadav supported Mulayam and Akhilesh, on the other hand Prateek, Aparna and Shivpal were opposing the closest ‘nepotism’. The senior party leader Shivpal Yadav after being sidelined was then a silent but active rebel within the party who later on quit Samajwadi Pary and made his own PSP (Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party)

Resultantly, after Shivpal’s quitting Samajwadi Party, Aparna also quit and joined the BJP in January 2022. Mulayam’s attempt to stop both of them fell flat.

Worsening rift within the Mulayam clan also witnessed then Akhilesh firing his uncle twice from his cabinet. And then Mulayam was so helpless that he could at max do just one thing which he did – he expelled Akhilesh Yadav from the party for 6 years on grounds of indiscipline.

This followed a retaliation by Akhilesh who  stripped his father’s role as the SP president. Then came January 2017 when in a national convention the party president Akhilesh named Mulayam as the party’s ‘chief patron’.

Mulayam called this event illegal and expelled the convenor of the event, Ram Gopal Yadav and this order then later was reversed by the Election Commission of India.

Political observers say it was a family drama where the roles were pre-scripted and things exactly went the way ‘Neta’ ji wanted. For example, the order of expelling Akhilesh from party for six years was revoked the very next day.

The biggest criticism which Mulayam Singh Yadav had to face belonged to the same month of October thirty two years ago. On 30 October 1990 he as UP chief minister, gave an order to karsevaks gathered at Ayodhya. Many of them died leaving many injured out of the shoot out and then there was no case registered against this brutality in any court of free India.