Yogi government paints Haj Committee wall saffron, triggers storm

Lucknow, Jan 5 : The BJP government in Uttar Pradesh on Friday came under heavy fire from social groups and opposition parties in the state after the peripheral wall of the UP Haj Committee office was painted in saffron, a colour identified with the Hindu religion.

File Photo/IANS: Yogi Adityanath

The boundary wall of the office facing the state assembly building had always worn a green and white colour in the past.

On Friday, when the boundary wall was painted saffron, it triggered an immediate storm even while the ruling party leaders said “not much should be read” in the development.

Samajwadi Party (SP) MLC and party spokesman Sunil Singh Sajan said the government was trying to impose its ideology on other religions, especially minorities.

“To save face from their failures in the past nine months, they have now resorted to the game of colours and politics of religion,” he said.

Many Muslim organisations have also expressed their resentment over the change of colours of the wall of the Haj committee office.

The sole Muslim Minister in the Yogi Adityanath government, Mohsin Raza, who also looks after the Haj Department, however, defended the decision to paint the walls saffron.

“Opposition has no issues left to attack the government, hence all this furore,” he said while claiming that the saffron colour was being used as it signified energy. “In fact, the building was looking beautiful in the changed colour.”

Ever since the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) took over the reins of the government in March, saffron has become a prominent colour in the state’s power corridors.

From the party leaders, Ministers and the Chief Minister donning saffron colour clothes to the colour of curtains, sofas and even microphones have changed to saffron.

The seat of power — the Annexe where the Chief Minister’s Office is located — was recently painted in saffron and not long ago, Afzalgarh Police Station in Bijnore was pained completely in saffron, apart from many schools also being painted bright saffron.

The penchant of Uttar Pradesh politicians when in power for colours has been seen earlier also. During the Samajwadi Party (SP) rule, the colours prominent in governance were red and green (the party colours) and when the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) was in power, dark blue was the colour of power.

The BJP government this time round, however, seems to have gone a step ahead of others and it was no surprise that during a visit of Adityanath to parched Bundelkhand, even the cold drinks served were “all orange”.