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Akhilesh rath yatra begins in Lucknow

Thu 03 Nov 2016, 12:34:06
Mulayam Singh Yadav today flagged off Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav's rath yatra in the presence of state SP chief Shivpal Yadav here.Ending days of suspense on whether he will be present or not, the SP patriarch arrived at La Martinere grounds - the flag off venue - soon after Akhilesh reached there. Shivpal also joined them moments later.
Mulayam took a seat on the stage and was flanked by Shivpal on one side and Akhilesh on the other to send a message that the party was united ahead of the upcoming UP Assembly elections barely a few months away.
"Akhilesh ko hum shubhkamna detey hain (I wish him well)," Shivpal said, adding the "vikas sey vijay ki aur yatra" will send a message of unity across the state and halt BJP in its tracks.
"Our target is to prevent BJP from coming to power in the state in the crucial 2017 elections," he said.The enthusiasm among the youth leaders was palpable right since early morning with hordes of young party workers donning red cap making a bee line to the venue, the very place where Akhilesh took oath as chief minister in 2012.
As some youths jostled to reach the venue, Shivpal advised them to calm down. "Josh mein hosh na kho dein (don't lose your cool in enthusiasm)," he said.Ahead of the flag off the event, Ramgopal Yadav's son and MP Akshay Yadav said, "People will vote for Akhilesh. We will contest in his name and win."
The presence of Mulayam, Shivpal and Akhilesh on one platform came days and months after bitter acrimony in the Yadav clan that saw no holds barred tit-for-tat sackings and expulsions of followers of warring camps.During the Yatra, Akhilesh will travel 75 km in Lucknow and neighbouring Unnao atop a modified Mercedes bus, also called a Mercedes "rath" from Lucknow.
All schools in the state capital and Unnao have been shut owing to the ‘VVIP movement’, which is all set to bring the state capital and the Lucknow-Kanpur highway to a grinding halt.

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