Remembering his guru Mulayam Singh Yadav, who died in a hospital in Gurugram on Monday morning, SPS Bhagel, Union Minister for State Law and Justice, said the Samajwadi party patriarch was like a “guardian”. “He was my political guru. I learned a lot from him,” said Baghel, BJP MP from Agra Lok Sabha constituency.
Bhagel, who had been Mulayam Singh’s personal security officer for years, recalled running against Akhilesh Yadav in the Karhal Assembly elections that year. “I met him in Parliament at Gate No. 12. He (Mulayam) stopped his car and when I touched his feet he said ‘Bahut Achha Lade’ (you fought well). He could have said anything that day, but he chose those words,” Baghel told News18.
While mentioning that Mulayam was the first-generation politician to rise from the grassroots, Baghel said he always asked him to take care of his health. “He touched my head and told me to take a daily walk and take care of my health when I visited him after his wife’s death,” the minister said.
Recalling Mulayam’s personality, Baghel said, “Whoever gave him the title ‘Dhartiputra’ did him justice. He was the epitome of combat. He used to say that Rajneeti Mein Charcha, Parcha and Kharcha Chalet Rehna Chahiye. He used to quote (Ram Manohar) Lohias ji that ‘the living community does not wait five years’.”
Baghel said Mulayam Singh Yadav is a true advocate of local language, food and dress. “Lok bhasha, lok bhushan and lok bhojan ke himayati them. He never wore anything other than dhoti kurta and always had vegetarian food like rice and dal. “Angrezi Mein Kaam Na Hoga Phir Se Desh Ghulam Na Hoga” was the slogan of Lohia ji and it was Yadav who lived by it. Although he had a degree in English, he was fundamentally opposed to English and never used it,” Baghel recalled.
Baghel praised Mulayam Singh’s cheerful nature and said he used to entertain anyone from the government or the opposition.
Baghel had gone to the Medanata Hospital in Gurugram, where Mulayam Singh was admitted, to inquire about his well-being. Such was Mulayam’s influence on those who worked around him that respect for the SP patriarch endured even though he aligned with other parties and was his political rival.
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