A newly-elected BJP corporator has demanded that night shelters set up by municipal bodies during winters be named after Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who represented the city in Parliament, ahead of the former prime minister’s birthday on Monday.
Dilip Srivastava, the corporator from Maithilisharan Gupt ward, also said he would distribute saffron shawls, blankets and woollen clothes here through an NGO on the occasion, adding that saffron colour signifies “warmth” and these clothes would be “instrumental in combating the chill”.
“He is a man of masses and known for his political convictions. It would be a true acknowledgement to the stalwart leader, if the shelter homes put up by various municipal corporations across the state are named after him. They should be called ‘Atal Rain Basera’,” Srivastava told PTI.
“A letter in this regard has been sent to the office of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath requesting him to rename the winter shelter homes after the former prime minister who had represented Lucknow in the Lok Sabha,” he added.
Copies of the letter were also sent to UP BJP chief Mahendra Nath Pandey, Urban Development Minister Suresh Khanna, UP BJP general secretary (organisation) Sunil Bansal and the Lucknow mayor.
When asked what prompted him to offer this suggestion, Srivastava said, “Atalji was always concerned for the welfare and upliftment of the poor, and the homeless. This is a small step in acknowledging the vision and concern which he had for the downtrodden.”
“A special puja will also be organised on December 25 for speedy recovery of Atalji and Sundar Kaand will be recited. A bhog of 93 kg boondi (sweet) will be offered during the puja, and 93 lamps lit on this occasion,” he said.
Vajpayee was elected to Lok Sabha from Lucknow in 1991, 1996, 1998, 1999 and 2004. He is the first and the only non-Congress leader who completed his full term as prime minister.
Born in 1924, he entered politics during the Quit India movement in 1942. He was also the first external affairs minister to deliver a speech in the UN Assembly in Hindi.
Meanwhile, Vajpayee’s birthday would bring cheers to 93 prisoners who would be set free by the Yogi Adityanath-led government on Monday. These convicts are lodged in different jails of the state and their names were chosen from a list of prisoners who have completed their tenure in jail.
“It has been decided to set free 93 prisoners convicted in different cases on the birthday of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. These prisoners have completed their tenure but could not be released due to non-payment of fine imposed on them,” Principal Secretary (Home) Arvind Kumar said.
In an order issued here, he directed the prisons department to ensure that the fine is paid by NGOs, trusts and others, after verifying their credentials.