Former Defense Minister and UP chief minister Mulayam Singh Yadav passes away at 82


Veteran Samajwadi leader and MP, Mulayam Singh Yadav, died in Gurugram on Monday after a prolonged illness. Yadav was 82 and was on life support for a week. He was admitted to the Medanta hospital in Gurugram on August 22.

According to hospital sources, he breathed his last at 8.15 am IST on Monday.

The 82-year-old Samajwadi Party patriarch was facing difficulty in breathing and was under the supervision of an internal medicine expert at the Medanta Hospital, as per sources. Singh was suffering from a urinary infection as well, hospital sources had said.

On Sunday, Medanta Hospital had put out a health bulletin stating that the veteran leader’s condition was quite critical and that he was on life-saving drugs.

His mortal remains will be taken to his native village Sefai in Etawah in Uttar Pradesh later on Monday. In a tweet, the Samajwadi Party said that the cremation of the late leader will be held in his village on Tuesday at 3 pm IST.

Meanwhile, thousands of supporters gathered outside the Medanta hospital in Gurugram, grieving Yadav’s death.

In a tweet, his son Akhilesh Yadav said, “My respected father and everyone’s leader is no more.”

Union Home Minister Amit Shah was among the leaders who visited the Medanta Hospital Gurugram soon after.

The founder of the Samajwadi Party was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of Medanta hospital in Gurugram on October 1, with breathing problems and was later shifted to the ICU of the hospital due to his critical condition. He was later placed on life-supporting drugs.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi led the tributes, tweeting that Mulayam Singh Yadav’s death had left a huge loss in Indian politics.

The news of the death was met with howls of grief and tears from the crowd of supporters outside the hospital.

Several policemen were deployed around the hospital to control the crowds and supporters of their leader.

“He was our beloved leader who played a major role in the development of Uttar Pradesh. His contribution towards the development of UP cannot be forgotten,” a supporter of the leader outside the hospital said.

Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh condoled Yadav demise and called him an icon of the socialist movement.

He wrote a letter to Akhilesh Yadav and expressed grief: “He was a leader of high esteem who was respected by everybody irrespective of party lines. He was an Icon of the Socialist Movement and had been elected to the Uttar Pradesh State Assembly and to the Lok Sabha several times. He served as the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh and also Union Minister many times. He was a great Parliamentarian and a distinguished administrator who devoted his whole life to the service of the poor and other backward communities.”

He added, “My wife joins me to convey to you and other members of your family our deepest condolences on this sad occasion. May God give all of you the strength to bear this great loss with courage and fortitude,” he added.

President Droupadi Murmu, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Road Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari expressed condolences on the demise of Samajwadi Party leader and former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav.

President Murmu in a tweet in Hindi described Yadav as a tall grassroots level leader who rose to prominence from a simple background. She described the former defense minister as a leader with extraordinary abilities and said that his demise was a “great loss” to the nation.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he was pained by Yadav’s demise and recalled his long association with the socialist leader.

“I had many interactions with Mulayam Singh Yadav Ji when we served as Chief Ministers of our respective states. The close association continued and I always looked forward to hearing his views. His demise pains me. Condolences to his family and lakhs of supporters. Om Shanti,” he tweeted.

“He was widely admired as a humble and grounded leader who was sensitive to people’s problems. He served people diligently and devoted his life towards popularising the ideals of Loknayak JP and Dr. Lohia,” the Prime Minister wrote further.

Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari offered his condolences to Yadav’s family and recalled that he personally received lots of affection from the departed leader.

Gadkari said that he got Yadav’s full support for his policy initiatives on regularising e-rickshaws in the country.

Congress Rajya Sabha MP Jairam Ramesh described Mulayam Singh Yadav as a stalwart Lohiaite, who had admirers across the political spectrum.

Former Defense Minister A.K. Antony of the Congress said Yadav, who had served in the same portfolio before him, was a far-sighted politician and statesman. “Even though Yadav was the Defense Minister for a brief period, none can forget his far sightedness as during every discussion on defence in Parliament, he had just one thing to say ‘be wary of China’, if not, it will be difficult to tackle. See how right he was,” the country’s longest serving Defense Minister said.

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