Patna: Former Bihar Chief Minister and RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav on Monday condoled the demise of Samajwadi Party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav, remembering him as a stalwart of the socialist movement.
"I am saddened by the news of the demise of Samajwadi patron respected Mulayam Singh ji. His contribution was incomparable in the politics of the country," Lalu said in a tweet.
Remembering Yadav as a politician who brought the underprivileged to the front line, Lalu said his memories would stay forever.
Later, talking to reporters, he said, "Mulayam Singh Yadav had an important contribution to taking forward the socialist movement."
"Pray to God to give place to the departed soul at his feet. Humble tributes," Lalu added.
On Wednesday, the RJD chief had gone to meet Mulayam Singh at the hospital in Gurugram.
The veteran Samajwadi Party leader passed away while undergoing treatment at the Medanta Hospital aged 82 due to prolonged illness. His condition was critical for the past few weeks and he was on life-saving drugs.
Mulayam Singh's son Akhilesh Yadav confirmed his death on Twitter. "Mere adarniya pitaji aur sabke netaji nahi rahe - Akhilesh Yadav (My honourable father and everyone's Netaji is no more)," he tweeted from the party's official handle.
Leaders from across the country have expressed their grief.
Recollecting his relationship with Mulayam Singh, Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted several photographs in which the two leaders could be seen together.
"Shri Mulayam Singh Yadav Ji was a remarkable personality. 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 (Jayaprakash Narayan) and Dr Lohia (Ram Manohar Lohia)," PM Modi said.
"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 added.
Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari remembered Mulayam Singh as a stalwart in UP politics.
"Shri Mulayam Singh Yadav was a stalwart in the politics of the nation, and especially in that of Uttar Pradesh.
He had a strong grip over politics because of his wider public relations and organisational skills. A good parliamentarian, Mulayam Singh created his own mark as Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh and as Defence Minister of the country.
I had the privilege of knowing Mulayam Singh ji intimately even before I became a member of the UP Legislative Council," Koshyari said.
Koshyari said with Mulayam Singh's death, a major chapter in UP politics has come to an end. "I pay my homage to the departed leader and convey my deepest condolences to Shri Akhilesh Yadav and other members of the bereaved family," he added.
Emerging as a socialist leader, Mulayam Singh soon established himself as an OBC stalwart, capturing a swathe of political space vacated by the Congress. He took oath as UP's 15th CM in 1989, which marked the year when the Congress was voted out, failing to return to power in the state ever since. (ANI)