Uttar Pradesh government announced three days of state mourning for the death of Samajwadi party veteran Mulayam Singh Yadav. UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath spoke to Mulayam Singh's son Akhilesh Yadav, who is Leader of Opposition in the assembly, and brother Ram Gopal Yadav over the phone to convey his condolences, said a spokesperson.
"Death of former Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav is extremely sad," said Yogi Adityanath.
"He was a pillar of socialism. His death is the end of an era of struggle," he added, "I wish peace to the departed soul and my condolences to the bereaved family and supporters."
Declaring the three-day mourning, he announced that the last rites will be performed with full state honours.
Mulayam Singh Yadav, a three-time former chief minister, died at 82 on Monday morning at Medanta Hospital, Gurugram.
Popularly referred to as "Netaji" ('Dear Leader') by Samajwadi Party supporters, he had also served as the country's Defence Minister.
The former wrestler emerged as centre of UP politics in the late 1980s and early 1990s when protests and agitations over the Mandal Commission, set up to identify the socially or educationally backward classes in India, were at their peak. During the protests, backward caste leaders like Mulayam Singh and Bihar's Lalu Prasad Yadav emerged as stalwarts in the Hindi belt.
Mulayam Singh Yadav first made it to the assembly in 1967 — one of eight wins in state polls — and was also elected to the Lok Sabha seven times.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his condolences, said that Mulayam Singh Yadav was a key soldier for democracy during the Emergency, which imposed by the then Congress government in the mid-1970s.
President Droupadi Murmu also expressed grief over his demise.