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A look at Padma Awardees Mulayam Singh, SM Krishna’s decades-long political journey

Last updated: January 25, 2023, 10:33 PM IST

The Government of India released the list of 2023 Padma winners on Wednesday.

The Government of India released the list of 2023 Padma winners on Wednesday.

The name of Mulayam Singh Yadav is synonymous with the rich political history of Uttar Pradesh, while SM Krishna served multiple terms as a legislator and Member of Parliament of Karnataka.

Former Prime Ministers of Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka, the late Mulayam Singh Yadav and SM Krishna, will receive Padma Vibhushan, the second highest civilian award, for their decades-long commitment to public affairs. The Government of India released the list of 2023 Padma winners on Wednesday.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulates those who received the Padma Awards. India cherishes their rich and varied contributions to the nation and their efforts to improve our growth trajectory, he said.

‘Neta-ji’- socialist leader, grassroots worker

Socialist leader, grassroots worker, ‘Neta-ji’ to leaders across the political spectrum and a politician synonymous with the rich political history of Uttar Pradesh – Mulayam Singh Yadav breathed his last on October 10, 2022 at the age of 82.

Yadav’s five-decade political journey had several ups and downs, with many allies and disagreements along the way. Born in Saifai village in Etawah district of Uttar Pradesh in 1939 to an agricultural family, Yadav wanted to be a wrestler but was interested in academics and eventually became a teacher at a government school. In 1967, he first joined the Uttar Pradesh Assembly of Ram Manohar Lohia’s Sanyukt Socialist Party. A day later, he joined Bharatiya Kranti Dal of Chaudhary Charan Singh. However, this party merged with the Sanyukt Socialist Party and the Bharatiya Lok Dal was formed. After the emergency (1975-1977), the Bharatiya Lok Dal merged with the Janata Dal.

He became Prime Minister for the first time in 1977. He assumed the leadership of the Lok Dal State President in 1980 and remained Leader of the Opposition in the Council from 1982 to 1987. In 1989, he became the first prime minister of Uttar Pradesh. He founded the Samajwadi Party in 1992. Between 1993 and 1995, he served as Prime Minister of UP for the second time. In 1996, he entered Lok Sabha polls from Mainpuri for the first time and became Defense Minister.

In 2003 he took the oath as UP CM for the third time. After the SP’s loss in the 2007 polls, he became leader of the opposition in the UP state assembly. In 2019, he became a Member of Parliament (seventh time) from Mainpuri.

SM Krishna’s long journey, from CM to Governor to EAM, Congress to BJP

Born on 1 May 1932, Somanahalli Mallaiah Krishna served as Chief Minister of Karnataka from October 1999 to May 2004. He graduated from Maharaja’s College, Mysore and obtained a law degree from Government Law College, Bangalore. He also studied at Southern Methodist University, Dallas, USA and later at George Washington University.

Krishna was elected to the Legislative Assembly of Karnataka as an independent candidate in 1962 and made his parliamentary debut in 1968 and later joined the Congress. In 1972 he returned to state politics and became a member of the Legislative Council. He was inducted as Minister of Commerce, Industry and Parliamentary Affairs, a position he held between 1972 and 1977.

In 1980 he returned to Lok Sabha and became Industry Minister in 1983-1984, and Finance Minister in 1984-1985. He again entered state politics in 1989 and became the Speaker of the Karnataka Legislative Assembly in 1989. Later in 1992, he became the Deputy Chief Minister of Karnataka. In 1999, he took over as Chief Minister of Karnataka. According to Raj Bhavan Maharashtra, Krishna took oath as Governor of Maharashtra on 6 December 2004.

After being elected to the Rajya Sabha in 2009, Krishna was inducted as the Foreign Minister in the UPA government. In 2012, Krishna stepped down as Union minister. He campaigned for the Congress in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, but the party suffered a humiliating defeat.

After three years of inaction, Krishna joined the BJP in March 2017, ending his nearly 50-year association with the Congress. Earlier this month, 90-year-old Krishna announced that he is gradually withdrawing from public life and will retire from active politics.

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