Lucknow: SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav's native village Saifai is all set to witness a colourful start on Saturday. The Saifai Mahotsav (festival) will be inaugurated by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav in the presence of top party leaders at the Chandigram stadium.
At least two thousand school children will give the message of equality and prosperity through their performance at the opening ceremony. A painting competition on the theme 'Green UP Clean UP' will be organised by Etawah and Mainpuri school children on the first day of the fest.
Renowned Pakistani singer Rahat Fateh Ali Khan will mark his presence in the Safai fest this year on January 8th, confirmed one of the party members. Famous Ghazal singer Penaz Masani will also perform at the event, besides other 300 folk artists.
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.