LUCKNOW: The drive to give a saffron look to government buildings took a tangy turn when the outer walls of UP State Haj Committee were also painted saffron, evoking sharp reactions from opposition parties and Ulemas of Muslim community here on Friday.
The already under attack Yogi Adityanath's government, for allegedly saffronising the state, is now facing the criticism from various quarters including Muslim religious leaders for not leaving even the Haj committee office.
According to sources, Minority Welfare Board took the initiative to get the Haj committee office walls painted in saffron and the drive is not only limited to state capital but it is visible in other parts of the state as well.
Earlier, in December, around 100 government primary schools were painted saffron. Later the DM got them white washed again.
“This government is trying to stoke religious sentiments in one way or the other,” said Muslim Ulema.
However, playing it down, Haj minister Mohsin Raza defended the state government saying such issues should not be given much undue importance. "Saffron symbolises energy and strength. The Haj committee building is looking good in saffron," he said.
Meanwhile, UP State Haj Committee secretary RP Singh too came out to justify the saffron colour on outer walls of the building saying it was done to bring a uniformity with other government buildings in the vicinity. “Only the boundary wall of the Haj Committee office has been painted saffron while the entire building inside is white. White boundary wall gets stained fast so it was painted saffron,” commented Singh.
However, SP leaders attributed it to petty politics of colours. “This government is playing the politics of colour to hide its inefficiency. Till now, only Ashrams used to be in saffron colour and not the offices,” said Sunil Singh Sajan of Samajwadi Party, adding that some officers were trying to score brownie points by indulging in such petty exercises. “There focus is more on pleasing the political masters than doing the actual work,” he maintained.
UP has been witnessing the politics of colours for quite some time. With the change in dispensation, colour of the government building also changes. During BSP regime, it used to be a combo of white and blue while Samajwadis preferred red and green. Under Yogi Adityanath, it's saffron.