Zee Media Bureau
Lucknow: With children dying of cold at Muzaffarnagar and Shamli relief camps, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav has faced flak for taking part in a 14-day fest being organsied at his home town Saifai, Etawah district.
Both Samajwadi Party (SP) supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav and his son Akhilesh are yet to visit the relief camps, but this has not stopped the UP Chief Minister from taking the flight to Safai and attend a comedy show.
Akhilesh has defended his decision to attend the `Saifai Mahotsav`, saying that it is party`s decade-old old tradition.
Earlier this month, Mulayam gave a bizarre statement. He said, "There are no riot victims at all in the (Muzaffarnagar) camps. These are people who are conspirators. BJP and Congress have conspired. They have asked people to stay there at night and sit on dharnas."
SP government has been at the receiving end ever since the riots broke out and was accused of mishandling the situation.
And now the relief camps have become a political battlefield. Recently, Congress vice president and RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav paid a visit to the camps and slammed the Akhilesh-led state government.
More than 3,500 people continue to live in these camps set up after the Muzaffarnagar riots three months back that left more than 63 people dead and over 43,000 homeless.
The state government has come under heavy fire from the opposition and the courts for pathetic living conditions in the relief camps, a claim it vehemently denies.
Earlier, the Supreme Court pulled up the Uttar Pradesh government over the plight of victims of the Muzaffarnagar riots and ordered immediate supply of blankets and medical help to people living in relief camps.
The apex court reacted sharply to media reports of death of some 50 children due to cold and poor facilities in the relief camps.