A DAY after the Uttar Pradesh Haj Committee secretary claimed that the move to paint the Haj office boundary wall saffron was “unintentional”, the Committee on Saturday accused the contractor of laxity and for choosing the wrong colour. The saffron boundary wall was repainted in cream colour.
The Haj Committee, besides ordering disciplinary action, is also considering blacklisting the private contractor, said officials.
The boundary wall of the Haj office, opposite the state Assembly building in Lucknow, was given a saffron coat late Thursday, two months after the Secretariat building facade was painted in the same colour. The move had prompted the Samajwadi Party to accuse the BJP government of indulging in “blatant saffronisation”.
“Secretary of the UP Haj Committee R P Singh has taken immediate cognizance of the matter, and issued directives for its rectification,” a statement issued by the government said.
The Committee claimed that the contractor went against the official instructions to match the colour with the neighbouring government buildings, which are a mix of cream and beige.
Committee Secretary R P Singh said, “There was laxity on part of the contractor… The office was closed yesterday. Following reports, I inspected the ongoing whitewash of the boundary wall and realised that the contractor had gone beyond the earlier instruction given to him, which was to match it with the neighbouring government buildings… The fresh paint will be as per the earlier order.”
On Friday, Singh had said: “The move was not intentional. The building is being whitewashed. Since our office is situated near the Vidhan Sabha, Lok Bhavan and the Annex, painters were instructed to take inspiration from adjoining buildings and try to match the colour of the outer boundary wall with them… The painter chose a darker colour to bring out the pillars and designs.”
Supporting the move, Mohsin Raza, the lone Muslim member in the Adityanath government, had said: “While the decision has been taken by officers, I do not see why it should be opposed. Saffron is a gift of God. It is a colour of happiness. It is the colour of sunrise, which gives light to the whole world.”
He added, “I have just one thing to say to those who are opposing the colour… would they oppose the National Flag too, which has the same colour?… It is a government office and has been painted in a colour which the officers and staff decided.”