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Mulayam Singh Yadav’s birthday celebrated separately by Akhilesh, Shivpal

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Lucknow: Samajwadi patriarch Mulayam Singh’s 81st birthday on Friday was celebrated with fervour in Lucknow, Etawah and several other districts.

Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath wished the veteran leader on his birthday with a tweet and wished him a “healthy, active and happy life”.

The event though once again threw wide open the split in the party and the family.

While the Samajwadi Party and Akhilesh Yadav celebrated the birthday in Lucknow, Shivpal Yadav and his Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party Lohia (PSPL) celebrated the occasion in Etawah.

Both the parties put up hoardings wishing Mulayam Singh on his birthday in the state capital.

In Lucknow, Akhilesh Yadav led the celebrations with his cousin Dharmendra Yadav and all senior party leaders by his side.

Mulayam Singh Yadav arrived at the party office in the afternoon and cut the customary cake amid cries of ‘Mulayam Singh zindabad’.

Earlier, the Samajwadi Party workers had held a ‘havan’ to pray for the their patriarch’s long life.

Party leaders distributed 81 kilograms ‘laddoos’ and danced to the beating of ‘dhol’ at the party office.

In Etawah, Shivpal Singh organised a ‘dangal’ to mark the occasion. It may be recalled that Mulayam Singh had been a wrestler in his younger days and is particularly fond of the sport.

Shivpal Yadav also released an e-book titled ‘Lohia-Mulayam.com’ o the occasion.

However, none of the other family members attended Shivpal’s event showing that the divide within the family was equally deep.

PSPL members celebrated Mulayam’s birthday at all district offices by cutting cakes and distributing fruits among the poor.

Mulayam Singh first became Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh in 1989 and then again in 1993 and then in 2003. He served as Defence Minister in the Deve Gowda government in 1996.

He is the founder of the Samajwadi Party that is now headed by his son Akhilesh Yadav.

He is presently Member of Parliament from Mainpuri.

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Smriti takes on Rahul, says must be punished for ‘Rape in India’ remark

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New Delhi: Union Minister Smriti Irani lashed out on Friday at Rahul Gandhi for his remark ‘Rape in India’ and called it deplorable that he should not play politics on rape, and asked his mother Congress President Sonia Gandhi to advise and guide him.

She demanded a strong action against the former Congress chief and not just an apology.

Rahul Gandhi, on Thursday, while addressing an election rally in Jharkhand took a jibe on the Prime Minister’s pet project ‘Make in India’ and said: “Earlier it was ‘make in India’, but now it is rape in India”.

Speaking to the media outside the Parliament, Irani said how could the Congress leader stoop to such extent as to mean something like “inviting men to India to rape”.

Lashing out at Rahul inside the Lok Sabha, Irani said: “This is the first time in the history of India that a man from Gandhi family has the audacity to insult women and call for their rape.

“This is the first time in the history of India that a leader is giving loud call that Indian women should be raped. Does he mean that all men in India want to rape women? Is this Rahul Gandhi’s message to the people of the country?”

The Minister along with other MPs in the lower House, asked for an apology from Rahul Gandhi. There was rage and fury as she attcaked the Congress. She said: “Rahul Gandhi should be punished for mocking his political opponant and calling ‘Come, rape in India.”

“Women are no one’s personal property and he should know that if someone evokes for their rape, women know how to give a fitting reply.”

Countering DMK MP Kanimozhi’s answer to the Chair that the statement was made “outside the Parliament” the minister said that raising voice against crime against women is the least that a parliamentarian can do.

“I am so disheartened that being a woman you (Kanimozhi) cannot come across the party line and raise your voice on crime against women.”

The incident was followed by a tweet from the BJP official twitter handle: “After everything fails, Rahul Gandhi is back to insulting and denigrating India! It is crass and insensitive to politicise a heinous crime like rape. But what else can we expect of Gandhi scion…”

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