The Yadavs of Uttar Pradesh: Taking a look at India’s biggest political family

The Yadav political family was born in 1967 with the election of Mulayam Singh Yadav to the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly. It has since grown steadily – and is now billed as the biggest political family in the country ever. Its 20 members happen to be in their biggest political feud, with all eyes on what is to happen next.
Of the 20 members in politics, five are Lok Sabha MPs, one is a Rajya Sabha member, one an MLA, two are MLCs and the rest are in various political levels that are relatively lower.
Here’s the complete list and a brief profile of the prominent ones in Mulayam’s family in politics:
Mulayam Singh Yadav, the son of Sughar Singh and Murti Devi, was the first from the family to enter politics. He began his political career through student politics and first became an MLA in 1967. He became the chief minister in 1989-the year he founded the Samajwadi Party. He has been a CM three times. Was also a defence minister three times. And continues to hold the SP’s national president’s position and nurtures prime ministerial dream. He is currently the Azamgarh MP.
Elder son Akhilesh Yadav is the chief minister of UP since March 15, 2012. He began his political career by winning a 2000 Lok Sabha bypoll from Kannauj. He has been MP thrice. Currently is the member of the upper house of UP legislature. He was made the party’s state president in 2000, and occupied the post till September 13 this year.
Mulayam’s daughter-in-law and CM Akhilesh Yadav’s wife Dimple Yadav is the Kannauj MP. Her political career began with a stumble when she lost her Lok Sabha bypolls in 2009 from Firozabad. Dimple then won the Kannauj parliamentary bypolls in 2012 and then won the Lok Sabha elections from the same seat in 2014. She has never shown taking sides. Never speaks pro or anti anyone. Strictly disciplined. (Difficult to slot her in one side.)
Daughter-in-law Aparna Yadav (married to Mulayam’s younger son Prateek Yadav) has been harbouring political dreams since she entered the Yadav family. Considered close to both Mulayam and Shivpal Yadav, Aparna is considered to be SP’s Lucknow Cantonment candidate for the 2017 UP Assembly polls. (Allied to the Mulayam camp and Shivpal camp.)
Mulayam’s brothers
Ratan Singh – a farmer. He died in 2014 (at age 80), was an ex-service man, had fought the 1965 war. Ratan’s son Ranvir Singh (died in 2002) was a block pramukh, started the Saifai festival.
Ranvir’s son Tej Pratap Singh Yadav is the MP from Mainpuri. He is married to RJD leader Lalu Prasad Yadav’s daughter Rajlakshmi. He is close to Akhilesh Yadav (Akhilesh camp and Mulayam camp. Never makes reckless statements, seldom showed pro-Shivpal tilt).
Mridula Yadav, the mother of Tej Pratap, is a member of the block development council from Saifai. (Mulayam’s camp)
Abhay Ram is a farmer and the second brother of Mulayam. Ram’s son Dharmendra Yadav, is the MP from Badayun. He has been a Lok Sabha member twice. Earlier, Dharmendra was a Mainpuri MP. (Akhilesh’s camp)
Ram’s second son Anurag Yadav is an aspirant. (Mulayam camp).
Daughter Sheila Yadav, is a zila panchayat member, Jaswantnagar. (Mulayam camp).
Ram’s daughter Sandhya Yadav is a twin sister of Dharmendra Yadav. She is the chairman of Mainpuri zila panchayat. (Mulayam camp)
Dharmendra’s sister-in-law Vandana Yadav is the chairperson of Hamirpur zila Panchayat. (Mulayam camp)
Rajpal Singh Yadav, another brother of Mulayam. He worked in the Central Warehousing Corporation, and took VRS.
Rajpal’s wife Premlata Yadav, was the chairperson of Etawah zila panchayat. She was the first Yadav family woman to contest elections. (Mulayam camp)
Rajpal-Premlata’s son Anshul Yadav is now the chairman of Etawah zila parishad. (Camp not clear).
Shivpal Singh Yadav is Mulayam’s brother and a postgraduate. He is a politician who took care of Mulayam’s constituency – Shivpal Singh emerged as the de-facto CM in Mulayam’s last stint. He has been an MLA several times, but never an MP. He was removed as the SP’s state president in 2009. Last month (September 13), he was again made the state president. Shivpal is a major power centre in the party. He had important portfolios in the government, holding the portfolios of irrigation and PWD. CM Akhilesh Yadav sacked him from his Cabinet recently. (Mulayam camp. Now after the exit of Ramgopal Yadav is the most powerful person in the party after Mulayam.)
Wife Sarla Yadav is the chairperson of Etawah Cooperative Bank. She has been considered a ‘wise woman’ in the family, and often works as a trouble-shooter in both personal and political situations. (Mulayam and Shivpal camp)
Son Aditya Yadav is the chairman of UP cooperative federation and is in charge of the Jaswantnagar assembly constituency. There are rumours that Shivpal wants to give him a 2017 UP Assembly poll ticket. (Shivpal camp)
Ramgopal Yadav: He is a cousin of Mulayam. The party patriarch ushered him into politics. Ramgopal had been the SP’s national general secretary and national spokesperson, but on Sunday Mulayam ousted him from the party for six years. Till then, he was considered the party’s chief strategist. Ramgopal was a physics professor in an Etawah college, and has also served as the principal of another college in the southwest UP city.
He was the one who is considered to have played a key role in scuttling Shivpal’s reported ambition to become the UP chief minister in 2012. At the same time, he is considered a hero in propping Akhilesh Yadav to the CM’s post. Ramgopal had been an MLA and a Lok Sabha MP in the past. He is now a Rajya Sabha member. (Chief supporter of Akhilesh Yadav)
Ramgopal’s son Akshay Yadav is the Ferozabad MP. (Akhliesh Yadav camp)
Others: Mulayam’s grandnephew Arvind Singh Yadav is an MLC. (Camp not clear)
Mulayam’s brother-in-law Ajant Singh Yadav is a member of the Chaubia Block Development Council. (Camp not clear)
Mulayam has one sister, Kamla Devi Yadav.

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