By FAISAL FAREED
An overwhelmed Mulayam Singh Yadav Saturday said he cannot “repay Azam Khan” with praises and will instead ensure that Rampur is developed as a model city. The Samajwadi Party supremo categorically asked his son and Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav to fulfil Azam’s demands.
“We need to fulfil the aspirations of Azam and the people of Rampur. Not only announcements, but the work should start within 15 days. Whole government is sitting here and I am party chief, then what is the problem? Even if there is something, it will be taken care of by Azam,” Mulayam said.
He was addressing a function to the Jauhar University campus on the second day of the two-day long birthday celebrations that Azam had organised for him. Mulayam, who turned 75 today, cut a 75-feet-long cake at a grand event here, which saw at least 40 ministers of Akhilesh cabinet in attendance.
“Such honour, which I received here, I don’t think I will ever get in my life. I cannot repay by just praising Azam. He has thrust a big burden on me,” Mulayam said.
The SP supremo also brushed the flak that both he and Azam have been receiving over the “extravagant” celebrations. “Azam is not demanding anything for himself. It is for the university and education. He is not building his house. Today, Rampur is being seen in whole country,” Mulayam said while asking Akhilesh to ensure a pandal approved in the supplementary budget for the Jauhar University was completed by next year.
“It is a necessity as lots of programmes will be held here. If you (Akhilesh) are not able to do anything then what is the use of our coming here. Develop Rampur as a model city,” he stressed.
He also praised the audience saying that he cannot muster such a crowd during rallies despite spending money. In his brief address, Akhilesh began by taking a jibe the media for targeting the function. “I saw for the first time horses moving ahead of buggy. I also saw bands playing tunes. I saw fireworks. I saw children celebrating Netaji’s birthday. I also saw Netaji releasing balloon with children,” he quipped.
Coming to defence of Azam, he said, “Today, I saw him in angry mood despite it being Netaji’s birthday. I know you (Azam) have faced storms and strong winds. Let people say anything, Rampur will get the special status”.
PWD minister Shivpal Yadav candidly admitted that he follows whatever orders are given by Azam saying, “even roads inside the university will be constructed soon”.
Prior to it, Mulayam laid the foundation stone of medical college in Jauhar University campus. Sufi singers Sabri brothers presented a cultural programme. Later, Akhilesh distributed bicycles to labourers and scholarships to the students.