Khazanchi Nath
Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav with four-year-old boy Khazanchi Nath flags off party's Vijay Yatra in Kanpur | PTI Photo
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Lucknow: A four-year-old boy grabbed everyone’s attention when he flagged off Samajwadi Party’s Vijay Yatra in Kanpur Tuesday, accompanied by party president and former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav.

Although people were surprised to see the boy, Khazanchi Nath, with the SP chief, party sources said Akhilesh decided to invite the child because he “considers him special”.

“It was Akhilesh’s decision to call him for the yatra. It was not in the plan earlier but Akhilesh asked the local unit of Kanpur Dehat to invite Khazanchi for waving off flag to start his yatra. He considers him as a special child,” a source in Samajwadi Party told ThePrint.

A cash prize of Rs 11,000 was also given to Khazanchi after this event, the source added.

This was, however, not the first time when Khanzanchi met Akhilesh. Their meeting goes back to 2016, when the child was born.

Sarvesh Singh Neeru, a Samajwadi Party leader from Kanpur Dehat and former village head of Anantpurwa, the place where Khazanchi lives, told ThePrint, “Akhilesh Yadav gifted another house (the first was given in 2016), in 2017, to his mother in Anantpurwa where Khazanchi family presently lives. It costs around Rs 5 lakh. Khazanchi’s family earlier lived in Sardarpurva village. When Akhilesh ji was the chief minister, he developed that village (Sardarpurva) after his birth. Later, on Khazanchi’s first birthday, he adopted Anantpurwa village where the boy’s family shifted.”

On the first anniversary of demonetisation, Akhilesh had sent Rs 10,000 to the family. Later, in 2017, Akhilesh met the boy and his family in Saifai, the turf of the Yadav clan.

Another SP functionary told ThePrint that Akhilesh decided to help Khazanchi’s family after he found out that the latter’s father’s died a few weeks before the child was born.

“Khazanchi’s father was a labourer. He died before the child was born and there was no one who could take care of the family, so Akhilesh ji decided to help the family. His brother was suffering from tuberculosis and the money went into his treatment. Party leaders helped his family at that time. Today, too, local unit leaders help this family financially,” the functionary said.


Also read: No allies, no understanding in Priyanka’s team — why UP Congress leaders are flocking to SP


How SP celebrates Khazanchi’s birthday every year

Akhilesh celebrates Khazanchi’s birthday every year on 8 November, the anniversary of demonetisation.

In 2019, Akhilesh gave him a bicycle on his birthday.

Last year, Khazanchi’s birthday was celebrated at the Samajwadi Party office where he cut a cake. Akhilesh gave him a gift and several other legislators also gave cash.

“The only good thing born from demonetisation is Khazanchi,” Akhilesh had said while celebrating his birthday last year.

“Many legislators gave him cash prize as a birthday gift. His luck has changed after the kripa (blessings) of our party president,” Sarvesh Singh said.

“Akhilesh Yadav helped Khazanchi’s family several times. Because of him (Akhilesh) people know Khazanchi in India. It was him only who invited Khazanchi for the rath yatra,” Sarvesh Singh said.

Akhilesh and his Samajwadi Party may cite demonetisation to attack the BJP ahead of the next year’s assembly elections, but experts say it is unlikely to make any difference.

“In today’s context, demonetisation is no more a political issue. It’s good that Akhilesh Yadav helped that four-year-old child but that’s a different story. I personally think demonetisation issue won’t get any traction now. In 2017, demonetisation issue helped BJP more though the opposition was trying to create a different narrative,” said Pankaj Kumar, Professor, Political Science Department, Allahabad University.

How Khazanchi got his name

Khazanchi was born on 2 December 2016 when his mother, Sarvesha Devi, was standing in a bank queue to withdraw money after demonetisation.

Akhilesh Yadav, then the UP chief minister, learnt of the incident and named the boy ‘Khazanchi’ (treasurer). The Samajwadi Party president also gave Rs 2 lakh and a house to the boy’s mother.

He also talked about the circumstances under which Khazanchi was born to hit out at the BJP over its demonetisation decision.

The four-year-old goes to an Anganwadi centre as of now.

“Khazanchi just started going to Anganwadi kendras as of now. We will send him to primary school next year,” his mother said.


Also read: Too late for Samajwadi Party to win back non-Yadav OBC voters with caste census


 

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