8 December 2022

By 1980, Mulayam had already served as the state chief of Lok Dal and taken over as the president of the Janata Dal, emerging as the vanguard of the socialist movement of JP and Ram Manohar Lohia. He became the leader of the opposition in 1985, but by 1989 found himself elevated to the CM’s chair thanks to BJP’s outside support to Janata Dal, although he would soon emerge as the saffron front’s bete noire.

The Shaping Of A Staunch Secularist
The Shaping Of A Staunch Secularist

By 1990, as the Ram Janmabhoomi movement gathered steam, BJP withdrew support to Mulayam’s government, though it was saved for a while by Congress support. It was during this tenure that the CM would earn the sobriquet of ‘ Mullah Mulayam ‘ for his efforts to preserve the status quo in Ayodhya which also saw police firing on Kar sevaks, leaving over 28 dead.

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