Lucknow: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav's absence from inauguration function of 'Saifai Mahotsav’, a cultural festival held every year in his native village in Etawah district has kicked off speculations about differences in the Samjawadi Party's top leadership and the Yadav family.
There were reports about Akhilesh Yadav's unhappiness over sacking of his two close associates from the party few days ago.
Samajwadi Party on Friday had expelled three leaders for their involvement in "anti-party" activities.
Out of the three expelled leaders, Anand Bhadauria and Sunil Yadav alias Sajan are said to be close to Akhilesh.
The decision to expel the leaders was announced by party leader Shivpal Yadav said. Their involvement in the anti-party activities was cited as one of the reason behind the action.
While Bhadauria was former national president of Lohia Vahini, Sajan was national president of SP Chhatrasabha.
The festival, to be held between December 26 and January 11, will display state's extensive art and culture, regional dance performance and stage shows. A kushti-dangal (wrestling) competition will also be held in the presence of Netaji on Jaunary 4. The Mahotsav will also witness Hockey, Badminton and Volleyball tournaments. A grand bicycle marathon will be organised on January 9 from Mainpuri to Saifai.
The carnival, originally named as Ranveer Singh Smriti Saifai Mahotsav, is organised every year by the Samajwadi Party in the memory of Mulayam Singh Yadav's deceased nephew Ranveer Singh.
Two years back, Samajwadi Party had received a lot of criticism from the Opposition for organising the gala affair and splurging crores on the event, that could have been used for rehabilitation of Muzaffarnagar riot victims and drought-hit farmers in the state.