Mulayam touch at UP culture fest

 The change of guard in Uttar Pradesh seems to have an impact on the cultural festivals also with organisers going all out to please the ruling party and its supremo.

The prestigious ‘Lucknow Mahotsav’, an annual cultural event held in December which is famous for showcasing the nawabi culture of Avadh region and its different facets would also reflect the change of guard in the state.

The ‘Mulayam touch’ will be clearly visible at the fest, albeit in the garb of cultural events. The Lucknow Mahotsav Committee has decided to introduce a couple of new cultural events in this year’s fest that clearly reflects the touch.

Consequently, there will be wrestling competition and cycle race competition at the event, according to the officials privy to the decisions of the committee, which have not yet been made public.

Mulayam’s love for wrestling is only too well-known. In fact, the Samajwadi Party chief has himself been a wrestler in his younger days.

The ‘cycle’ incidentally happens to be the election symbol of the party.

The officials denied that the additions had anything to do with politics and claimed they were being considered purely as cultural events.

“In the previous regime also, the achievements of the ideologues used to be showcased through different means,” they said.

According to traditions, the governor inaugurates the festival. The chief minister and other dignitaries pay a visit on the last day of the 10-day long fest.

A number of cultural events, including tonga race, vintage car rally, boating, kite flying and rifle shooting are organised in the fest that has been a huge draw with people not only from the state but also from other parts of the country, and abroad.

The decision to introduce new events comes close on the heels of the launch of the statewide Samajwadi Ambulance Service a few days back by chief minister Akhilesh Yadav.

This is the first time a government scheme has been named after a party. The opposition parties have slammed the practice.

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