Prominent Socialist Leader and Former Union Minister Sharad Yadav Passes Away at 75

India’s one of the most prominent socialist leaders and Former Union Minister Sharad Yadav, passed away on Thursday evening. He was 75 years old. The news of his death came as a shock to many, as he had been ill for a long time.

Yadav collapsed at his home in Delhi on Thursday and was taken immediately to Gurugram’s Fortis Memorial Research Institute. A statement from the institute said that he was brought to the emergency ward in an unconscious and unresponsive state. “On examination, he had no pulse or recordable blood pressure. He underwent CPR as per ACLS protocols. Despite our best efforts, we were unable to revive him and he was declared dead at 10:19 pm,” the statement said.

Yadav’s political career spanned several decades, and he was known for his strong socialist beliefs. He began his political journey as a student leader and aligned himself with the anti-Congress camp. He was also involved in the JP movement, a political movement in the 1970s and 1980s led by Jayaprakash Narayan, which aimed to rid India of corruption and bring about social change.

For most of his life, Yadav remained a key presence in the opposition, but he reconciled both with the Congress and his great political rival Lalu Yadav. He was instrumental in crafting the Grand Alliance after the 2015 assembly elections in Bihar, where he was a member of the Janata Dal United. He served as a minister in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government in the late 1990s and the VP Singh government in 1989.

A three-time member of the Rajya Sabha, he was elected to the Lok Sabha seven times. As a founding member of Bihar’s ruling Janata Dal United, he quit after Chief Minister Nitish Kumar ended the Grand Alliance and joined hands with the BJP. In 2018, he launched his own party, the Loktantrik Janata Dal, but merged it with Lalu Yadav’s Rashtriya Janata Dal two years later, stating that it was the “first step towards a united opposition.”

Yadav’s death was met with great sorrow and condolences from political leaders across the country. Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted, “Pained by the passing away of Shri Sharad Yadav Ji. In his long years in public life, he distinguished himself as MP and Minister. He was greatly inspired by Dr. Lohia’s ideals. I will always cherish our interactions. Condolences to his family and admirers. Om Shanti.” RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav also expressed his condolences on Twitter, calling him the “Mandal Messiah” and a “great socialist leader.”

Yadav’s death marks the end of an era in Indian politics. He was a true socialist and a leader who fought for the rights of the marginalized and the oppressed. His contributions to Indian politics will not be forgotten and he will be remembered as a leader who dedicated his life to the service of the nation.