Now, SP sets eyes on ex-servicemen


Ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, the ruling Samajwadi Party in Uttar Pradesh is going out of its way to woo ex-servicemen. It has planned a conclave of the former defence personnel and their family members during the ongoing Saifai Mahotsav at party supremo Mulayam Singh Nadav's native Saifai village in Etawah on Sunday.

Mulayam will be the chief guest at the conclave where Akhilesh Yadav will also be present. Among other issues, the conclave will highlight the Mulayam's achievements during his tenure as defence minister. Some announcements for ex-servicemen are also likely to be made during the conclave - the first such programme to be organised by the SP.

"It will be reunion of ex-servicemen and their family members. Nearly 20,000 retired personnel will attend it," said Dharmendra Yadav, Badaun MP and organiser of Saifai Mahotsav.

Since ex-servicemen, along with their family members, constitute a sizeable votebank, the SP has major plans to woo them. The major thrust of the party will be on Uttarakhand, which is home to a has large number of ex-servicemen.

Invitations have already been extended to former defence personnel across the country. SP leaders informed that ex-servicemen from Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, Uttarakhand and Delhi will be attending the reunion.

"We are contacting them personally. Our party workers in each state have created a data bank of the retired servicemen," Dharmendra Yadav said.

SP also has a ex-servicemen cell in the party, which it will highlighted during the conclave. During party meetings and rallies, Mulayam makes it a point to highlight that Indian army has the courage to stop Chinese aggression, but is tied down due to a weak government at the Centre.

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