Saifai row: Akhilesh says media 'misreported'

Under attack for spending large sums for the Saifai Festival and inviting Bollywood stars, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on Friday not only defended the festival but also vent his ire on the media for what he alleged “misreporting” and trying to tarnish the image of the government.

Speaking to reporters here, Akhilesh singled out a Hindi daily for claiming that Rs 300 crore had been spent on the festival, demanding an apology and also said that the reporter concerned should be punished.

“This newspaper has turned against our party (Samajwadi Party) after we did not give their owner a Rajya Sabha nomination... he (owner) wanted an RS ticket,” a visibly upset Akhilesh said.

“Let the reporter come out with facts and prove that Rs 300 crore had been spent on the festival,” he demanded claiming that the expenditure on Saifai festival never exceeded Rs 10 crore.  “The fund is collected through subscriptions and local help,” he went on to assert.

He also criticised the media for asking Bollywood stars questions relating to Muzaffarnagar riots.

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