Stating that he was “deeply saddened” at the passing away of former UP Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav, BJP patriarch L K Advani on Monday said while they were “ideologically very different” but they had mutual respect for each other.
“In my long association with Mulayam ji, I specially recall my many interactions with him during the Ram Janmabhoomi Movement. Although we were ideologically very different, the mutual respect that we shared will always be cherished by me,” veteran Advani said in his condolence message.
“I am deeply saddened to condole the passing away of Shri Mulayam Singh Yadav, former Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh and founder of the Samajwadi Party. A stalwart of Indian politics and a grassroots leader, Mulayam Singh ji endeared himself to the masses by working tirelessly for the upliftment of the weaker sections and thus contributing immensely in the development of the state of Uttar Pradesh,” Advani stated.
Mr Advani further says, “Mulayam Singh ji’s demise has left a huge void in the political arena. His dynamic persona will continue to inspire many generations of Indians. May his soul rest in peace. My heartfelt condolences to members of his family and admirers. Om Shanti.”
It may be mentioned that during the peak of Ayodhya’s Ram Temple movement and Advani’s now famous Rath Yatra, as the UP Chief Minister, Mulayam Singh Yadav had taken a hard stance and threatened to arrest him before the Yatra entered Uttar Pradesh.
This made the then Prime Minister V P Singh harden his stance and subsequently Bihar Chief Minister Lalu Prasad was directed by the centre to arrest Advani.
Mulayam Singh Yadav was in Janata Dal briefly but during the height of Mandal politics, he floated Samajwadi Party and later developed differences with V P Singh, who also hailed from India’s largest state.
Glimpses of ‘mutual respect’ between Advani and Mulayam Singh Yadav often made news.
Once in a meeting of Samajwadi Party leaders and workers, Mulayam Singh Yadav had reportedly reprimanded his son and Uttar Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav about some governance issues.
“Yeh mujhe Advani ji ne kaha hae, Advaniji kabhi jhoot nahi boltey (This is what Shri Advani ji had told me; Advaniji will never tell me something without basis),” Mulayam had said leaving his son and other Samajwadi Party leaders surprised.