Akhilesh Govt. draws opposition’s ire for celebrating Saifai Mahotsava

Lucknow , Jan. 9: The Akhilesh Yadav-led Samajwadi Party government in Uttar Pradesh has drawn flak for spending millions of rupees on its fortnight-long annual carnival ‘Saifai Mahotsava’ at a time when Muzaffarnagar riot victims were living in difficult circumstances in relief camps.

Opposition parties also attacked the ruling state government for sending its ministers on a foreign tour.

Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) leader Satish Chandra Mishra said the state exchequer’s money was being wasted in Saifai while people were dying from severe cold in Muzaffarnagar relief camps.

“Samajwadi Party knows they wont come to power again, therefore they are looting and celebrating without care,” he added.

He further said: “If the same budget would have used for Muzaffarnagar relief, the children wouldn’t have died and people wouldn’t have suffered like this.

Echoing similar sentiments, BJP leader Balbir Punj said: “What happened in Saifai is a cruel joke with the people of Muzaffarnagar. They should have thought about the riot victims. But they are busy celebrating and dancing to glory.”

“It is a joke with Indian democracy. It is a slap on the people of UP,” he added.

Meanwhile, Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh said: “Samajwadi Party Government has its own way of working, but sensitivity of course is missing.”

As per media reports, around 10 million rupees were spent on the fiesta, which is attended by political leaders, film artists and corporate leaders every year.

Bollywood superstars like Salman Khan, Madhuri Dixit, Alia Bhat, Sara Khan and Soha Ali Khan performed in the annual Saifai Mahotsav on Wednesday.

Besides, the Bollywood big wigs, two dozen other TV actors, comedians also performed at Saifai, which has become a major attraction for the people of the region including Etawah, Mainpuri, Firozabad, Shikohabad and Agra.

Several Bollywood actors including Salman Khan and Ranveer Singh performed at the event and seemed delighted with the arrangements made for them.

The festival, organised every year in memory of a late nephew of Mulayam Singh Yadav, was into its 15th edition, but it had come under heavy shelling from the Opposition parties as it was held against the backdrop of the controversy over the relief camps for Muzaffarnagar riot victims, and their plight.

As many as 34 children are reported to have died in these temporary shelters after failing to withstand the bitter cold that has swept the region. (ANI)