Rampur: Mulayam Singh Yadav will be 75 tomorrow and his Samajwadi Party has planned a grand two-day birthday bash beginning today. The show-stopper will be the party chief riding an imported Victorian buggy through the Uttar Pradesh town of Rampur, which looks like Christmas came early.
Bunches of red and white balloons line spruced-up roads along with big banners wishing Mr Yadav a happy birthday. Dividers have a new lick of paint. A 100 “welcome gates” have been put up.
The Samajwadi Party rules UP and it shows in the preps. “All departments are working to ensure it is a grand welcome,” said Rampur’s disrict magistrate, CP Tripathi.
Senior UP minister Azam Khan, who is organising the show in his hometown, said, “Last time we had welcomed him in a vintage car, this time for our leader we have imported a Victorian buggy. On the route, the cultural department is organising plays and other programmes.”
A 75-foot-long cake will vie for attention.
Mulayam Singh is scheduled to land in Rampur at 3 pm on Friday and that is when he will go around town in the buggy. In the evening, he will attend a performance by popular singers Hans Raj Hans and the Sabri brothers. Mr Yadav will cut the giant cake at midnight.
His son and Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav and the entire top brigade of the Samajwadi Party will be in Rampur for the celebrations.
On Saturday morning Mulayam Singh will lay the foundation stone for a medical college at Azam Khan’s Jauhar University.
UP capital Lucknow too is celebrating. Big hoardings line the main roads of the city as eager partymen try to better each other’s birthday wishes for the SP chief.
Mulayam Celebrates Birthday with Buggy Ride, 50 Cars, 40 Ministers Follow
Rampur: Mulayam Singh Yadav is atop an imported Victorian buggy that is making its way down a 14-km stretch in the Uttar Pradesh town of Rampur, leading a cavalcade of 50 cars carrying about 40 state ministers.
The buggy ride is VVIP only – on it, along with the Samajwadi Party chief are his son and UP chief minister Akhilesh Yadav, his brother Shivpal Yadav, Azam Khan senior minister and master of ceremonies and the UP Speaker Mata Prasad Pandey.
Children from 20 schools have been transported here to line the route – some schools in Rampur have a holiday today and tomorrow. It is Mulayam Singh Yadav’s 75th birthday on Saturday and the grand show of strength now on in Rampur is only the first part of protracted celebrations over two days.
Up ahead is an evening of music – popular singers Hans Raj Hans and the Sabri brothers will present a concert.
And at midnight, Mr Yadav will cut a cake 75 feet long.
Rampur, the home town of Azam Khan, looks like Christmas came early. Bunches of red and white balloons line spruced-up roads along with big banners wishing Mr Yadav. Dividers have a new lick of paint. A 100 “welcome gates” have been put up.
Mr Khan courted controversy earlier today by saying sarcastically, “The Taliban has funded it,” when asked who has paid for the extravagant birthday party.
The BJP has accused the Samajwadi Party of spending government money. “Things which Mulayam Singh used to criticize himself, how is he accepting it now?” asked state BJP leader Vijay Bahadur Pathak, adding, “His birthday is being celebrated with government money. Water is not available in schools for children, but they cannot think of that.”
Rampur’s top government official, district magistrate CP Tripathi has said, “All departments are working to ensure it is a grand welcome.”
And Mr Khan had earlier indicated state participation when he said, “Last time we had welcomed him in a vintage car, this time for our leader we have imported a Victorian buggy. On the route, the cultural department is organising plays and other programmes.”