Mulayam Singh Yadav – India’s foremost political artist — passes away

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By Manish Anand

New Delhi, October 10: If politics is an art, then the socialist politician Mulayam Singh Yadav was a finest proponent of this political art. Yadav passed away after a prolonged age-related ailments on Monday at Medanta Hospital, the most sought after healthcare unit by India’s rich class.

Mulayam Singh Yadav and Lalu Prasad Yadav were twin sons, who were midwifed by the Mandal politics of late former Prime Minister Vishwanath Pratap Singh, who faced the heat of the saffron fire lit by the Bharatiya Janata Party’s mascot of the 1990s Lal Krishna Advani.

Mulayam Singh Yadav was consistent in his life for at least two commitments – Muslims and his belief that ‘China is India’s number one enemy’. For the rest, he made adjustments as and when he thought convenient. Unlike his peers, Mulayam Singh Yadav also ensured that his legacy was passed on to his son Akhilesh Yadav in his lifetime even while he was all ears to the laments of Shivpal Singh Yadav and Azam Khan. But as a true patriarch he knew that his heir would only be Akhilesh Yadav.

Mulayam Singh Yadav thrived on the advices of two of his closest aides – late Amar Singh, the maverick political deal maker, and late Virendra Bhatia, former advocate general of Uttar Pradesh and ex-Rajya Sabha MP. They were mostly loyal to Mulayam Singh Yadav. They left the SP patriarch much earlier.

The defining moments in the political career of Mulayam Singh Yadav were when he invented with the aid of Amar Singh an alibi to save the Manmohan Singh-led United Progressive Alliance government from the no trust vote and his emergence as Muslims only political choice after he ordered the police to fire on the ‘Kar Sewaks’ in Ayodhya. Amar Singh ensured that Mulayam Singh Yadav wasn’t much harassed in the disproportionate case.

In saving, the Manmohan Singh government, Mulayam Singh Yadav exhibited his political skill to bend backward to touch the ground when his friends in the Left were baying for the blood of the UPA government for inking the Indo-US nuclear deal. The Left parties never forgave Mulayam Singh Yadav. But Amar Singh had the APJ Abdul Kalam shield in justifying the decision to support the Manmohan Singh government. Kalam supported the nuclear deal.

Mulayam Singh Yadav was a very close friend of former UP Chief Minister and the BJP leader late Kalyan Singh. Both were the backward icons of the largest state of India. They carried their parties in the elections on the might of their appeals. Both had appeals in the rural parts of the state to the extent that the women covered their heads by pulling the loose ends of their sarees whenever they saw a helicopter flying.

When Kalyan Singh quit the BJP over differences with Advani, he was embraced by Mulayam Singh Yadav with open arms. The SP patriarch knew his politics well to ensure that his Muslim constituency wasn’t seething at him for striking electoral partnership with Kalyan Singh under whose watch the Babri Mosque was razed to the ground. Yet, when the time came for the Liberhan Commission Report’s release, Mulayam Singh Yadav abandoned Kalyan Singh as if he had never known him.

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