As the annual 'Saifai Mahotsava' began with much fanfare Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav was conspicuous by his absence on the inaugural day triggering speculation he might be "upset" with expulsion of two of his close aides from the party.
While there was no official word from the ruling Samajwadi Party or the government as to why the Chief Minister skipped the inaugural session on Sunday, the party sources said he was "upset" over sacking on Friday of his two close aides — Sunil Yadav alias Sajan and Anand Bhadauria.
Sajan was national president of SP Chhatrasabha, while Bhadauria was former national president of Lohia Vahini.
Another SP leader Subodh Yadav, son of the party's MLA from Etah Rameshwar Yadav, was also expelled — all three on the charges of "anti-party" activities.
The 17-day annual family fiesta, being held for the last 18 years at the native place of Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav, is likely to see performances by singer Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, ghazal singer Peenaz Masani and several Bollywood stars.
All members of the Yadav family usually attend the inaugural session of the Mahotsav. Last year too, Akhilesh was present, along with MP wife Dimple and his children.
The festivities were inaugurated on Sunday, as per tradition by the SP supremo, with brother and cousin Shivpal and Ram Gopal in tow.
While Sunil Sajan and Bhadauria are former presidents of the party's youth wing , Samajwadi Yuvjan Sabha, Subodh Yadav is the son of senior MLA from Etah, Ramaeshwar Yadav. The three, apparently, were instrumental in sealing Akhilesh's winning campaign in 2012. The move is also seen as a way to clip the wings of Akhilesh's loyalists in the party, reports said.
A party source told The Hindustan Times that both were charged of anti-party activities in the recent panchayat polls. "The expulsions have come in the wake of anti-party activities," Shivpal Yadav, the chief spokesperson of the party’s state unit, was quoted as saying by The Hindustan Times.
"Expulsion is the punishment for anti-party activities. Many party members complained to Mulayam that the two had supported other candidates in the recent panchayat polls," The Hindu quoted another party activist as saying.
Meanwhile on Sunday, while declaring the festival open, party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav lashed out at the Centre and said it had failed to fulfil the election promises it had made to the people.
"People neither got work nor the Rs 15 lakh promised to them. Now, the country's treasury has also gone empty. In such a condition, where the country's development is headed is known to all," he said.
Mulayam also said UP has been ranked third among other states in terms of its growth rate. "To my mind, UP is on Number 1 position. Without involving UP, the country's growth is impossible," he said.
The SP supremo said UP has given three Prime Ministers and talents in every field. He said the SP government "fulfilled" its promises in two- and-a-half years which no other state government has been able to do.
Mulayam said previous governments did not perform well as a result of which development of the state took a backseat.
With inputs from PTI
Your guide to the latest seat tally, live updates, analysis and list of winners for Lok Sabha Elections 2019 on firstpost.com/elections. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram or like our Instagram or like our Facebook page for updates from all 542 constituencies on counting day of the general elections.
Updated Date: Dec 28, 2015 10:02:17 IST