Samajwadi Party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav cremated in Saifai
Saifai (UP): Samajwadi Party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav was cremated with full state honours at his native Saifai village in Uttar Pradesh on Tuesday afternoon.
His son and party chief Akhilesh Yadav lit the funeral pyre.
The former Uttar Pradesh CM had died aged 82 at a private hospital in Haryana’s Gurugram on Monday. His body was brought to Saifai on Monday evening. A large number of people and dignitaries turned up for his funeral in Saifai.
With hundreds queued up for the final darshan amid the drizzle, Yadav’s body was moved around 10 am Tuesday from his “kothi” to a bigger hall on the Mela Ground premises to allow people to pay their last respects.
The former chief minister’s son Akhilesh Yadav, brother Shivpal Yadav and other family members were onboard a truck decked up with garlands of flowers. A large number of people marched along the vehicle.
Frequent chants of “Netaji amar rahe” by lakhs of people rent the air.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla, Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge and Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar were among those who paid tributes to the leader.
Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, his Chhattisgarh counterpart Bhupesh Baghel, Telangana CM K Chandrashekar Rao, former Madhya Pradesh CM Kamal Nath, Telugu Desam Party chief N Chandrababu Naidu, NCP leader Praful Patel, Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav, Left leaders Prakash Karat and Sitaram Yechury also attended the funeral.
Businessman Anil Ambani, Yadav’s brother and Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party (Lohia) founder Shivpal Yadav, senior Uttar Pradesh Congress leader Pramod Tiwari, NCP leader Supriya Sule, Rashtriya Lok Dal chief Jayant Chaudhary, farmer leader Rakesh Tikait and Aam Aadmi Party’s Sanjay Singh were present as the three-time chief minister was to consigned to flames.
Actor and Samajwadi Party MP Jaya Bachchan also marked her presence along with her actor son Abhishek Bachchan.
Speaking to reporters, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh recalled his relationship with the SP patriarch and said Yadav was connected to the roots.
If there was any leader who was connected to the public and the ground, it was Mulayam Singh Yadav, Rajnath said.
Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla said, “As a ‘samajwadi’ (socialist) personality, he advocated the cause of the backwards and farmers. His death is an irreparable loss.”
Former Andhra Pradesh chief minister Chandrababu Naidu termed Yadav’s demise a “loss for Uttar Pradesh”.
BJP leader Rita Bahuguna Joshi, who was one of those leaders who arrived early, said Yadav never considered his political opponents as enemies and that he shared a personal bond with every leader.
Yoga guru Baba Ramdev was seen accompanying Akhilesh Yadav at the ceremony as a sea of people descended on Mela Ground to pay tributes to the leader.