This Article is From Dec 27, 2014

This Year's Saifai Mahotsav Will See Best Artists and Pehelwans, Says Mulayam Singh Yadav

Samajawadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav (right) with party MP Jaya Bachchan at the Saifai festival on Friday

Lucknow: The ruling Yadav clan of Uttar Pradesh was present in full force at Samajwadi Party president Mulayam Singh Yadav's home district Mainpuri on Friday to launch the 17th edition of Saifai Mahotsav, which was inaugurated by party MP Jaya Bachchan.

This year, the event has been organised by the newest Samajwadi Party MP and Mr Yadav's grand-nephew, Tej Pratap Yadav and will feature music, dance, theatre acts and end with a Bollywood dance night.

"The best performers and artists will be here, the best pehelwans (wrestlers) will be here. This is our responsibility, I assure you the programs will be 'shaandaar' (stunning)," said Mr Yadav speaking at the inauguration function.

He also defended the party's decision to rope in Bollywood celebrities. "When other people can see Bollywood personalities and get entertained through their performances, why are there objections over the same for us?" Mr Yadav said.

Jaya Bachchan said that the festival will provide young people a chance to make a mark in the field of art and culture.

Uttar Pradesh's Culture Department Secretary Anita Meshram said that state government has approved Rs 1 crore for the mahotsav, which will last till January 8.

This year's festival has been a low key affair compared to previous years after a petition was filed in the Allahabad High Court last week as to why the state should pay for such a function.

Last year, the Yadavs were criticised heavily for hosting the mahotsav which was considered as a display of appalling insensitivity after riots in Muzaffarnagar, which left nearly 60 dead and 40,000 displaced.