Samajwadi Party (SP) leader Azam Khan is not exactly known for his subtle statements. And the Uttar Pradesh minister lived up to his reputation on Friday with his caustic comments about the source of funding for SP chief Mulayam Singh's 76th birthday celebrations.
"Taliban ne diya, Dawood ne diya. Saara Talibaan ka fund hai" (The money was given by the Taliban, Dawood. The funds came from the Taliban), said Khan to Times Now.
BJP state chief Vijay Bahadur Pathak hit back by saying that Mulayam's birthday was being celebrated with government money while basic amenities like water was unavailable for schoolchildren.
A 75-foot-long cake and a Victorian 'buggy' hired from London are among the highlights for the Samajwadi chief's birthday celebrations.
"The birthday celebrations will start from midnight and Netaji (Mulayam) along with Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav reached Rampur," SP spokesman Rajendra Chaudhary said.
A special Victorian 'buggy' (horse-drawn carriage), which has been hired from London, would carry Mulayam Singh in the stronghold of his trusted lieutenant and senior UP minister Azam Khan for a distance of around 14 km from the CRPF camp to Maulana Ali Jauhar University, sources said.
A cultural programme will be organised where the SP supremo will cut the giant cake at the stroke of midnight.
Laying the foundation stone of a medical college and addressing a public meeting will be the other tasks performed by Mulayam on his birthday.
Uttarakhand governor Aziz Qureshi and several other dignitaries will attend the function at the Mohammad Ali Jauhar University.