The Samajwadi Party headquarters in Lucknow burst out rejoicing as soon as party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav arrived at the party office on Monday.
It was his 83rd birthday and celebrations had been ringing out loud and clear since morning.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath wished the leader on his birthday.
Former Congress MP Pramod Tiwari and Aam Aadmi Party MP Sanjay Singh also met the leader at his residence and wished him on his birthday.
Bands were in attendance, party workers beat ‘dhols’ on the streets and folk singers sang songs to celebrate the occasion.
Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav and party MP Prof. Ram Gopal Yadav welcomed Mulayam with shawls and flowers.
An 83-kilogram ‘laddoo’ was a major attraction at the party office that was plastered with hoardings and posters wishing the party patriarch.
A visibly emotional Mulayam waved out to thousands who raised slogans for him and wished him on his birthday. Poets recited poetry and singers sang paeans to the veteran leaders.
Mulayam Singh Yadav’s birthday celebrations were also held in Etawah by his younger brother Shivpal Singh Yadav, who organised a wrestling match at the famous Master Chandgiram Sports Stadium in Sefai to celebrate the occasion.
His supporters cut a huge cake to mark the occasion.
Shivpal’s absence at the Lucknow celebrations clearly indicated that relations between the estranged uncle and nephew had not improved.
Meanwhile, in Ayodhya, an 82-day-long birthday bash of Samajwadi Party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav began at ‘Shrawan Kumar Teerth Kshetra’ in the Katehri Assembly constituency, 45 kilometres from Ayodhya.
Non-stop prayers, rituals and chanting of ‘mahamrityunjay’ verses will be held at Katehri along with blood donation camps, distribution of quilts and food to the poor.
Former national vice-president of Samajwadi Yuvjan Sabha and director of ‘Akhilesh Free Blood Service Campaign’, Dr Ashish Pandey ‘Dipu’, said, “For the last 10 years, on Netaji’s birthday, we have dedicated the day to the poor and needy. While celebrating his birthdays for days equal to his age, we organise social programmes,” he said.
Celebrations will continue till February 12 next year.