Mulayam Singh Yadav (born 22 November 1939) is an Indian politician from Uttar Pradesh and the founder-patron of the Samajwadi Party. He served for three non-consecutive terms as the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh from 1989 to 1991, 1993 to 1995 and 2003 to 2007 respectively and also served as the Minister of Defence, Government of India from 1996 to 1998 in the United Front. He is currently the Member of Parliament, representing the constituency of Mainpuri in the Lok Sabha. He had also earlier served as the Member of Parliament from Azamgarh.
Yadav had married twice. His first wife, Malti Devi, suffered complications while giving birth to their first child, Akhilesh Yadav. She was in a vegetative state until May 2003 when she died. Akhilesh went on to become the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh from 2012 to 2017. Yadav had a relationship with Sadhana Gupta while still married to Malti Devi in the 1980s and he has a stepson named Prateek. Gupta was not well known until February 2007, when the relationship was admitted in India’s Supreme Court. Prateek Yadav manages the land-holdings of the Yadav family.
Main Mulayam Singh Yadav, a film about his life, is scheduled for release in October 2020. Actor Amyth Sethi will play the title role in the movie which is directed by Suvendu Raj Ghosh and produced by Meena Sethi Mondal.
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.
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.
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.
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. It is widely believed that this change was done with the blessings of the BJP, which was also ruling at the Centre then.
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.