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Akhilesh Yadav defends 'Saifai Mahotsav' extravaganza

Lucknow:  A rattled Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav today stoutly defended his party's annual cultural extravaganza after it earned the ire of the opposition and also mounted a shrill attack on the media.Hitting back
PTI January 11, 2014 14:27 IST
PTI
Lucknow:  A rattled Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav today stoutly defended his party's annual cultural extravaganza after it earned the ire of the opposition and also mounted a shrill attack on the media.

Hitting back at the media and critics of the ‘Saifai Mahotsav' which had some top Bollywood stars in attendance, Akhilesh said the budget for the festival held at his family's native village was around Rs six to seven crore and not Rs 300 crore as alleged.

Slamming the campaign against the Mahotsav, he demanded an apology from the media for making exaggerated claims about the expenditure incurred for the event.

The just-concluded festival of fun and frolic ran into controversy with the opposition asking how the ruling Samajwadi Party(SP) could go ahead when the victims of the Muzaffarnagar riots were living in difficult circumstances.  

“It's being said purposely that the budget for Saifai Mahotsav was Rs 300 crore... Those who are making such a claim should apologise or else give the details of the expenditure made for the festival,” Akhilesh said at a press conference here.

“The person who has written such a story should be punished... We have a mela committee which keeps the expenditure details... And we should not be forced to launch a struggle,” he said.