Prime Minister Narendra Modi will on Monday address an event marking the 10th death anniversary of the late Harmohan Singh Yadav via video-conferencing.
The PM’s participation comes in recognition of the great contribution of the late leader for farmers, backward classes and other sections of society. Harmohan Singh Yadav was a towering figure and leader of the Yadav community. He remained active in politics for a long time.
His son, Sukhram Singh Yadav, was also a former Rajya Sabha MP.
This isn’t the first instance of PM Modi’s display of bipartisanship.
All about Harmohan Singh Yadav and a look at some such instances from the PM’s political journey:
HARMOHAN SINGH YADAV
Harmohan Singh Yadav was born on October 18, 1921 in ‘Meharban Singh Ka Purva’ village of Kanpur. He entered politics when he was 31. He became village ‘pradhan’ in 1952. He served in various capacities, including as MLC and MLA, in UP from 1970 to 1990. In 1991, he was elected as a member of the Rajya Sabha for the first time and served as a member of several parliamentary committees. In 1997, he was nominated as a member of the Rajya Sabha for the second time. He also served as the national chairman of ‘Akhil Bhartiya Yadav Mahasabha’.
Yadav had close relations with Chaudhary Charan Singh and Ram Manohar Lohia. He resisted Emergency and was also jailed while protesting for farmers’ rights.
Yadav was an important leader of the Samajwadi Party and had very close relations with Mulayam Singh Yadav. After the death of Chaudhary Charan Singh, he proposed to the Yadav Mahasabha that Mulayam Singh Yadav should become their leader now. This led to a tremendous rise in the stature of Mulayam Singh Yadav.
With the help of his son Sukhram Singh, he established many educational institutions in and around Kanpur. Harmohan Singh Yadav died on July 25, 2012.
1984 ANTI-SIKH RIOTS AND SHAURYA CHAKRA
Six years before the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, Harmohan Singh Yadav and his family moved to a new place where a majority of the population was Sikh. Yadav had a good relationship with the Sikhs and would help them occasionally. During the riots, Yadav was at home with his son Sukhram. They had a rifle, carbine, and guns. When the infuriated mob approached their locality, they moved to the terrace and fired in the air, driving back the attackers.
Local Sikhs went to Yadav’s house for shelter, and the Yadav family protected them from attack until the attackers dispersed or were arrested. For protecting the lives of the Sikhs, former Indian president Ramaswamy Venkataraman awarded Yadav the Shaurya Chakra in 1991, an Indian military decoration awarded for valour, courageous action or self-sacrifice.
PM AND THE YADAVS
Even though Mulayam Singh has been his political adversary, PM Modi has always maintained excellent relations with him. The PM has always wished him on his birthdays.
On Mulayam Singh Yadav ji's birthday I extend my greetings to him and pray that he is blessed with a long and healthy life.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) November 22, 2014
In February 2015, the PM went to Saifai in Uttar Pradesh to attend a wedding function of Mulayam Singh Yadav’s nephew Tej Pratap Singh Yadav and Lalu Prasad Yadav’s daughter Rajlakshmi.
Saifai (UP): PM Narendra Modi arrives at Mulayam Singh Yadav’s grand nephew Tej Pratap’s tilak ceremony pic.twitter.com/X0PFOSHVan— ANI (@ANI) February 21, 2015
Recently, the PM called Tejasvi Yadav and enquired about Lalu Prasad Yadav’s health when he was not well. When the PM went to Patna to inaugurate the centenary celebrations of the Bihar Legislative Assembly, the first thing he did was enquired about Lalu’s health on meeting Tejasvi Yadav.
In November 2017, PM Modi went to meet then Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) president M Karunanidhi at his house in Chennai to enquire about his health. At that time, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ally All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) government was in power in Tamil Nadu.
Kalaignar Karunanidhi stood for regional aspirations as well as national progress. He was steadfastly committed to the welfare of Tamils and ensured that Tamil Nadu’s voice was effectively heard. pic.twitter.com/l7ypa1HJNC— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) August 7, 2018
The bitterness between DMK and AIADMK is well-known, but the PM still rose above politics and went to his house.
H D DEVE GOWDA
The PM has had very good relations with former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda. He has appreciated that PM Modi always replied to his tweets and requests. When he went to the Statue of Unity, PM Modi praised him on Twitter.
Deve Gowda had challenged Modi in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections that if the BJP came to power on its own, he would resign from Lok Sabha. After the celebrations were over, he sought an appointment with Modi.
When his car reached the portico of the Parliament, PM Modi himself came there to receive him.
Met former Prime Minister Shri H.D. Deve Gowda pic.twitter.com/Hba3g4Bzw4— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) June 6, 2014
“I have had knee pain since then, which is still continuing. Whatever kind of person he is, that day when my car came to the portico, Modi himself came, held me by my hand and took me inside. This was for a person who had opposed him (Modi) so much," Gowda said.
Deve Gowda said that his respect for PM Modi increased manifold when he turned down his offer to resign from the Lok Sabha, as the PM told him that things said in the election campaign must not be taken to heart and his experience is valuable for other parliamentarians.
GHULAM NABI AZAD
In February 2021, PM Modi gave an emotional speech during the farewell of Rajya Sabha opposition leader Ghulam Nabi Azad. Speaking during the farewell, PM Modi got emotional as he recalled an episode when the two were chief ministers.
“I will never forget Ghulam Nabi Azad’s efforts and Shri Pranab Mukherjee’s efforts when people from Gujarat were stuck in Kashmir due to a terror attack. Ghulam Nabi ji was constantly following up, he sounded as concerned as if those stuck were his own family members,” an emotional PM Modi said.
“I won’t let you [Ghulam Nabi Azad] retire, will continue taking your advice. My doors are always open for you,” the PM added.
In August 2016, Congress President Sonia Gandhi’s roadshow in Varanasi was terminated midway after she reportedly fell sick. Gandhi cut short her visit and left for Delhi on her doctor’s advice.
Best wishes to Smt. Sonia Gandhi Ji on her birthday. Praying for her long life and good health.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) December 9, 2021
PM Modi wished her speedy recovery. He also spoke to Priyanka Gandhi and Sheila Dikshit and enquired about Gandhi’s health. PM Modi offered to send a doctor to treat her and a plane to fly the Congress president back to Delhi. Similarly, during her Gujarat visit, when there was a snag in her chopper, the PM had enquired about her wellbeing.
NAVAL KISHORE SHARMA
Between 2004 and 2009, when the entire Central government was against then Gujarat CM Narendra Modi, he maintained extremely cordial relations with then Governor Naval Kishore Sharma.
In July 2009, Modi got emotional during Sharma’s farewell. “He (the governor) taught me the beauty of democracy and, in a way, he indirectly guided me to run the state like a father guides a son. I’ll always remain his disciple. Panditji will retire from his post, but will always remain a father figure to me.” Sharma praised Modi and said he was ‘full of energy’.
Shri Naval Kishore Sharma added immense stature to the constitutional offices he held. I had great regard for him.May his soul rest in peace— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) October 9, 2012
When Naval Kishore Sharma passed away in October 2012, Modi especially visited Jaipur to pay his last respects.
PM Modi had very warm relations with ex-President Pranab Mukherjee. The PM wrote an emotional heartwarming letter to Pranab Mukherjee on his last day in office as President. Mukherjee shared the letter and said that he was extremely touched by the gesture. In his book, Mukherjee wrote he had cordial relations with PM Modi during his tenure.
On the passing away of Mukherjee, PM Modi wrote a letter and shared his very personal expressions of grief, pointing to the special relationship the two had forged over the years.
As India’s President, Shri Pranab Mukherjee made Rashtrapati Bhavan even more accessible to common citizens. He made the President’s house a centre of learning, innovation, culture, science and literature. His wise counsel on key policy matters will never be forgotten by me.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) August 31, 2020
Both the leaders were from rival political parties, different regions and different backgrounds. Yet, at the top of the political hierarchy, the leaders displayed impeccable camaraderie and worked together in cohesion.
PM Modi shares good relations with Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar, even though he has been his political opponent.
The PM has greatly valued and has always been willing to learn from Pawar’s knowledge and experience in the field of agriculture and cooperatives. He also went to his home turf Baramati twice.
PADMA AWARDS TO OPPOSITION LEADERS
A unique aspect of the Padma awards in recent years under the leadership of PM Modi has been that the government has not shied away from giving them to Opposition leaders to mark their contributions. Modi has often stated that keeping politics aside, the awards should recognise those who contributed to the great cause of India.
● Ghulam Nabi Azad, Padma Bhushan (2022): INC leader, former Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha and former CM of Jammu and Kashmir
● Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, Padma Bhushan (2022): CPM leader, former West Bengal chief minister
● Tarun Gogoi, Padma Bhushan (2021): INC leader, former chief minister of Assam for three terms
● Tarlochan Singh, Padma Bhushan (2021): Former MP from Rajya Sabha. Singh had served as press secretary to former President Giani Zail Singh
● Muzaffar Hussain Baig, Padma Bhushan (2020): PDP leader, former deputy chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir in a Congress-PDP government
● S C Jamir, Padma Bhushan (2020): INC leader, four-time chief minister of Nagaland. He also served as a Governor and was a legislator in both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha
● Pranab Mukherjee, Bharat Ratna (2019): INC leader, former President of India, who served many key roles in the UPA government
● Bhabani Charan Patnaik, Padma Shri (2018): INC leader, three-term Rajya Sabha MP from Odisha. He was also an office-bearer of the Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee.
● Sharad Pawar, Padma Vibhushan (2017): NCP leader, former Maharashtra chief minister and Union Defence Minister
● P A Sangma, Padma Vibhushan (2017): NCP leader, former Lok Sabha Speaker
● Tokheho Sema, Padma Shri (2016): INC leader, one of the senior-most Nagaland politicians and former leader of the Congress legislature party in the Assembly.
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