Facing heat over the recently concluded Saifai festival, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on Friday defended the Bollywood extravaganza, claiming it was organised only for the poor and underprivilleged.
Addressing mediapersons, the Samajwadi Party leader said that donations were collected for the festival and merely Rs 1 crore were allocated in the budget for the purpose. Yadav also questioned if any other government ever does anything of such magnitude for the poor.
The UP Chief Minister also took on a Hindi newspaper for reporting that Rs 300 crore were spent on the Saifai festival. He claimed that a maximum of Rs 10 crore, or even lesser amount, were spent on the festival.
Hitting out at the newspaper for what he termed as a “false report”, Yadav said that the reporter must apologise or the newspaper must be ready to face suitable legal action.
The Samajwadi Party leader also defended Bollywood stars who performed at the event, saying it was wrong on behalf of media to question them. Yadav said he was ready to face all the questions and the actors must not be asked about the event by the media.
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He further launched an attack on the media saying no newspaper or television channel reported when actor Salman Khan visited children in hospital despite cameras being allowed. He alleged that several mediapersons actually wanted passes for the events and also tried to get autographs from the stars.
Yadav claimed that the festival was to promote the state, saying that such events enable film shootings in Uttar Pradesh. He pointed that the event was used to showcase stuff from the state, including dresses with chickan embroidery.