It was sweet revenge for Mulayam Singh Yadav on Tuesday five years after Mayawati famously said "why kill a dead man" after the Samajwadi supremo was ousted by her in a crushing defeat.
The deadpan "dead-man" comment--"Marey hue ko kya marna (why kill a dead man)?"-- will perhaps return to haunt the BSP supremo after the Samajwadi rode to victory on the acomplished wrestler's influence at grassroots and his charismatic son Akhilesh writing the script for the party's effervescent victory in the country's most populous state. Mayawati was asked then whether any FIRs will be filed against Mulayam.
As long as the party has existed, it has been Mulayam Singh Yadav's SP and that changed with the UP elections, when Yadav Jr took charge of the party's effort to wrest the state back from his father's bete noire.
The 39-year-old engineer-turned politician, who attempted a successful image makeover for the SP, is the man of the moment but chooses to underplay his role.
"The entire party worked hard and won," he says, thanking the people for "believing in the SP...people across caste and community voted for the SP," he said.
The party has for long had a lawless image, attacked as a "party of goons" by opponents and Akhilesh set about attempting to change that. He insisted on hand-picking candidates unmindful of whose feet he stepped on, famously keeping the likes of DP Yadav away. Through his campaign he talked law and order as his party's foremost agenda.
After being down and out in last assembly elections, 72-year-old Mulayam known for his organising abilities and capability of mobilising cadre has turned the tables on in the current polls by gaining majority in the state, second after Mayawati, in the last 22 years. He is tipped to become the chief minister for the fourth time.
Popularly knownas "Dhartiputra" and called as Netaji by his partymen, Mulayam has come a long way in UP politics.
Born in a farmer's family on November 22, 1939 in a nondescript town of Sefai in Etawah district, Mulayam got inspiration from Dr Ram Manohar Lohia at a tender age.
The SP supremo graduated from KK College in 1962 and later started his career as a teacher.
For the first time, Mulayam entered the UP state assembly as the Samajwadi Socialist Party candidate in 1967 and since then has never looked back.
Young Mulayam, who was jailed during emergency along with a large number of stalwarts of the non-Congress political parties, became a minister of state in Janta Party government led by Ram Naresh Yadav in 1977.
In 1980, he became the state president of Lok Dal and two years later he was elected as the Leader of Opposition in the state assembly.