Saifai village is set to have an extended “three-day Diwali” by lighting up and decorating its houses and streets beginning Friday (November 20).
Reason: The village in Uttar Pradesh’s Etawah district is celebrating the birthday of its most famous son — Mulayam Singh Yadav. The Samajwadi Party chief turns 76 on November 22.
A grand event has been planned at the village where the star attraction is a performance by Oscar winning composer A R Rahman and his 300-strong troupe. Like he did during his 75th birthday celebrations in Rampur, Mulayam will greet people riding in a special buggy.
The guest list includes former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda, RJD president Lalu Prasad, Bollywood stars Amitabh Bachchan, Salman Khan, Hrithik Roshan and several others. Invitations have also been sent to Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, former SP leader Amar Singh and several business tycoons.
Invitation cards have been sent by Ranvir Singh Smriti Saifai Mahotsav Samiti. It mentions that Rahman’s concert is for “environment conservation”. A plantation drive will also be undertaken at Apna Bazar complex in Saifai on November 21. Only person from outside the Yadav family, who has made it to the list of people planting the saplings, is senior UP minister Azam Khan.
Apart from Italian, Chinese and Thai delicacies, the menu will have dishes from different states of India. The catering is being done by experts from Delhi and Mumbai.
The main programme in the village will begin at 7pm at the indoor athletics stadium on November 21. Mulayam will cut the cake at the stroke of the midnight.
Event firms from Mumbai are preparing the stage for Rahman’s performance. Nearly 1,000 workers are giving final touches to various arrangements and all the seats of the stadium have been painted in the ruling party’s colours — red and green. Nearly 250 temporary toilets, too, have been set up. The guests will be accommodated in various guesthouses of government departments. All roads have been illuminated with high mast lights.
Municipal Board, Etawah will be organising an All India Kavi Sammelan on November 22 while Zila Panchayat will hold separate cake cutting functions at different places. Even the Rural Institute of Medical Sciences, Saifai, will organise separate cake cutting programme and cultural items by its students. A blood donation camp is also proposed.
For security reasons, the stadium campus will be under CCTV surveillance and entry will be through metal detectors. Five companies of paramilitary forces have been sent to Etawah while police force from adjoining districts too have been summoned.
At Lucknow, Chief Minister Akhilesh will unfurl a 207-feet high Tricolour at Janeshwar Mishra Park where two Arjun tanks have arrived and will be stationed at the park gate.
Across the UP, SP workers will celebrate Mulayam’s birthday in over 50,000 villages with decoration and distribution of sweets. Major markets in every district will also be illuminated across the state. SP’s state office will hold separate programme for Mulayam’s birthday.
At Saharanpur, SP MLC Ashu Malik will organise community wedding for 300 Hindu and Muslim couples on November 22.