Lucknow, Nov 23: With his "extravagant" birthday celebrations drawing flak and questions being raised on the source of funds, SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav today asserted that state money was not spent on the celebrations and dubbed those making it an issue as "ignorant".
"Those who are writing about this are ignorant.. No money of government was spent in Rampur," Yadav, who celebrated his 75th birthday by cutting a 75-foot-long cake in Rampur yesterday, said.
Several parties had questioned the source of funds for the grand two-day celebrations held in Rampur, which was attended by his son Akhilesh and 40 other Uttar Pradesh ministers.
The criticism had met with a sarcastic response from Azam Khan that Taliban and Dawood Ibrahim provided funds for the event, which fuelled a controversy.
Mulayam also rode an imported Victorian-style 'buggy' during the event (horse-driven carriage), which was stated to have been imported from London. There was veiled criticism from UP Governor Ram Naik also who yesterday said, "There is a feeling among people it should not have been done."
"Such extravagant celebration of the socialist leader is a mockery of socialism... taking out a procession on a 'buggy' brought from London is a humiliation of the poverty stricken population of Uttar Pradesh," BJP spokesman Manish Misra had said, addiding the details of expenditure on the celebrations be made public.
"Mulayam Singh Yadav is celebrating his birthday on the suffering of the people of the state," BSP leader Sudhindra Bhadoria had said.