Days after he remarked that if he can’t stop the offering of namaz on roads during Eid, he had no right to stop celebration of Janmashtami in police stations, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Monday said the state government will give every caste and community complete freedom to celebrate their festivals, provided they do so within the purview of the Constitution and the law.
Addressing a gathering in Saharanpur district, which had recently witnessed caste violence, Adityanath said, “Eid ke samay namaz padhne ki baat aayi. Bahut saare logon ne kaha sadkon par Eid padhne denge? Humne kaha, nahi, jo paramparagat roop se padhta aa raha hai usko padhne do..kanoon ke daayre mein reh kar ke jo bhi karya karega koi rok-tok nahi hogi. Hum log samman ke saath har jaati, har mat, har mazhab ko apne parva aur tyoharon ko manane ki puri swatantrata denge, basharte wah kanoon aur samvidhan ke daayre me reh kar ke unko manata hai.” (Many people asked, will people be allowed to read namaz on the roads during Eid? We said no, let those who read namaz as per tradition do so…we will not stop anyone who stays within the ambit of the law. We will give complete freedom to all castes, communities and religions to celebrate their festials as long as they do so within the purview of the Constitution and the law.)
Reacting to Samajwadi Party (SP) president Akhilesh Yadav’s recent statement that when SP comes to power, Rs 5 lakh will be given to each police station to celebrate all festivals, the CM said that those who had “banned” celebration of festivals are promising monetary support for the same.
Adityanath further said it would have been better had Rs 5 lakh then been given to the public for medical facilities, roads and houses. “Those who looted the state to build their own houses and memorials are preaching to me today,” he added.
The CM went on to say that even if holidays are not declared on festival dates, people will still celebrate Diwali, Raksha Bandhan, Vijaya Dashmi, Christmas, Eid and observe the month of Moharram. Claiming that his government was providing benefits of schemes to the poor and needy without asking their caste and religion, he said, “We believe that every citizen living in India is an Indian who has a right on every scheme of the country, provided he learns to behave according to the Indian constitution.”
Thanking the people of western UP for the “successful completion” of the kanwar yatra, Adityanath said no disturbance was reported while four crore kanwar yatris were on the roads from Saharanpur to Ghaziabad. “They have set an example of peacefully celebrating festivals,” he added.
Stating that he was aware of the problems in Saharanpur and adjoining areas, the CM said that the mining and land mafia had ruled this area in the past. He also asked the local administration to ensure that illegal slaughterhouses, if any were still functional, be closed down.
Adityanath said that when the new government was formed, there were 4.32 crore ration cards in the state, of which 25 lakh cards were found to be bogus during the verification process. He alleged that in the past, ration cards were distributed on the basis of “personal relations” and not provided to the needy. He was in the district to distribute certificates to beneficiaries of the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana and “free” electricity connections.