Rank Nepotism: Mulayam Favours Family Over Ideology
Assembly polls are a few months away in Uttar Pradesh (UP). However, what concerns many is that the ruling Samajwadi Party which turned into a wrestler’s ring in the wake of a feud between Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and his uncle Shivpal Yadav, has not yet overcome shadow boxing that is going on among family members of party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav. In this situation, it has become essential to know the Yadav family members and political posts they hold in the state.
Mulayam Singh Yadav, SP Supremo
The 77-year-old SP leader who has been the Chief Minister of UP thrice, besides being the Union Defence Minister, has managed to control war for power between his son and his brother from becoming a full-blown affair, but has not been able to completely douse embers of fire that has engulfed his family for over two months.
For this, nobody else than Mulayam Singh Yadav himself is held responsible as he, like Lalu Prasad Yadav of the RJD, encouraged his several close and distant relatives to enter politics. Around twenty family members of the SP president are currently in politics and are occupying top chief ministerial posts to village heads’ posts. And all swear by the name of Mulayam Singh Yadav, because the Parliament Member from UP’s Azamgarh constituency is the ultimate decision maker of the party.
Akhilesh Yadav, UP Chief Minister
The eldest son of Mulayam Singh Yadav from his first marriage to Malti Devi, Akhilesh Yadav is presently the 20th Chief Minister of UP. Despite opposition from his uncle, Shivpal Yadav, the 43-year-old SP leader is the Chief Ministerial face of his party for the 2017 assembly election too. A post graduate in civil environmental engineering, Akhilesh started his political journey by winning Kannauj parliamentary seat in the by-election in Uttar Pradesh in 2000. A three-time parliamentarian, he was removed as the UP state president of the party after holding the position for about seven years.
Dimple Yadav, Lok Sabha Member
She is Akhilesh Yadav’s wife and Lok Sabha member from Kannuj in UP. Born in 1978, she is the only parliamentarian whose husband is Chief Minister and also one whose father-in-law is a member of the Lok Sabha. However, she began her political career with a duck; she lost her Lok Sabha bypolls in 2009 from Firozabad. She steadied her political course when she won the Kannauj Lok Sabha by-election in 2012 and the Lok Sabha election from the same seat in 2014.
Aparna Yadav, Aspiring Politician
She is the wife of the SP Supremo’s younger son, Prateek Yadav. A known Narendra Modi fan, she is a likely candidate of the SP for the next year’s polls from Lucknow Cantonment assembly seat. If that happens, she will be the 23rd member of the SP chief’s family to enter politics.
Shivpal Yadav, State President of the Samajwadi Party
The 61-year-old Shivpal Yadav is the younger brother of the SP patriarch. In the wake of fight between him and his nephew Akhilesh Yadav, which led to his removal from the state government as a Cabinet Minister, Shivpal Yadav was made state president of the party in September, seen as an appeasement move.
Interestingly, he was baptized into politics in 1988, when he was elected as the president of the district Sehkari bank. In 1996, for the first time he contested Vidhan Sabha election from Jaswant Nagar and won it by a huge margin. This Vidhan Sabha constituency is still being represented by him. He nurses an ambition to become the state Chief Minister if the party forms a government in 2017.
Sarla Yadav, Chief, Cooperative Bank, Etawah
Wife of Shivpal Yadav, Sarla Yadav is the chairperson of the UP Co-operative Bank (UPCB), which has an annual turnover of Rs 8,000 crore.
Aditya Yadav, Chairman, UP Pradeshik Cooperative Federation
The 28-year-old politician is the son of Shivpal Yadav. Besides being an area in-charge of the Jaswantnagar Assembly constituency (represented by his father in the Vidhan Sabha), Aditya Yadav is a Director of IFFCO, the largest farmer’s cooperative institution.
Ramgopal Yadav, Rajya Sabha Member
A Raya Sabha member, Ramgopal is SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav’s cousin. The 70-year-old politician was expelled in October from the party for six months following a severe fight within the Yadav family. On November 17, he got back to the party fold and for this he thanked “Neta jee”. He is considered to have played a crucial role in helping Akhilesh become the Chief Minister of UP in 2012.
Akshay Yadav, Lok Sabha Member
Born in 1986, Akshay Yadav is the son of Ramgopal Yadav. He won the 2014 parliamentary election from Firozabad.
Ajant Singh Yadav, Chairman, Block Development Council, Chaubiya
He is Mulayam Singh Yadav’s sister Kamla Devi’s husband and the Chairperson of Chaubiya’s Block Development Council. It is said that Ajant Singh enjoys more power than the SP chief’s immediate family members in Etawah.
Premlata Yadav, President, Etawah District Panchayat
She is the wife of Mulayam Singh Yadav’s younger brother Rajpal Yadav and is the Etawah district panchayat chief. She may be the party’s candidate for Etawah seat during forthcoming assembly election in the state.
Ansul Yadav, SP’s Youth Brigade Leader
He is the son of Rajpal Yadav, younger brother of the SP chief. Close to UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, Ansul is also nursing an ambition to become an MLA.
Tej Pratap Singh Yadav, Lok Sabha Member
The grandson of the SP supremo’s elder brother Ratan Singh, Tej Pratap Singh Yadav is the party’s Lok Sabha member from Mainpuri. He is married to RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav’s daughter Rajlakshmi.
Mridula Yadav, Chairperson of Saifai Block Development Council
She is the mother of Tej Pratap Singh and Chairperson of Safai Block Development Council.
Dharmendra Yadav, Lok Sabha Member
Son of the SP chief’s eldest brother Abhay Ram, Dharmendra Yadav is a two time parliamentarian. He is currently representing Badaun.
Anurag Yadav, National Secretary of the SP’ Yuvajan Sabha
He is younger son of Mulayam Singh Yadav’s elder brother Abhay Ram and brother of Badaun MP, Dharmendra Yadav. He is presently the National Secretary of the party’s Yuvajan Sabha. He is considered to be close to Mulayam Singh Yadav.
Sandhya Yadav, Chairman, Mainpuri District Panchayat
She is the daughter of Abhay Ram and Badaun MP, Dharmendra Yadav’s sister. She is the Chairman of Mainpuri District Panchayat.
Dr Vandana Yadav, Chairman, Hamirpur District Panchayat
She is the sister-in-law of Badaun MP, Dharmendra Yadav. She is currently chairman of the Hamirpur District Panchayat.
Arvind Yadav, MLC
SP leader Ramgopal Yadav’s elder sister Geeta Devi’s son Arvind Yadav is an MLC. He was recently in news when the SP’s state unit president Shivpal Yadav expelled him from the party for his alleged involvement in land grabbing. But people close to Arvind Yadav say that the MLC was expelled because he stood by Akhilesh Yadav against Shivpal and the party’s supremo, Mulayam Singh Yadav.
Billu Yadav, Block Chief
He is Geeta Devi’s younger son and block chief of Karhal, an area in Mainpuri district of Uttar Pradesh.
Perhaps, across the country, there will be hardly an example of a political family as big as that of Mulayam Singh Yadav of UP where members are encouraged to take their bites in politics of the state. As many as 20 members of the family are sitting on different political posts in the state, a tell-tale sign of nepotism.