The boundary wall of the Uttar Pradesh Haj Committee office has got a new coat of saffron, two months after the Secretariat building was painted the same colour. The move prompted the Samajwadi Party to accuse the BJP government of indulging in “blatant saffronisation”.
“The BJP is a party known for changing colours. It is indulging in these antics only to hide its faults and failures. If the BJP really considers saffron colour as sacrosanct, it should not indulge in politicisation of the colour and blatant saffronisation,” SP spokesman Sunil Singh Sajan said .
All India Shia Personal Law Board spokesperson Yasoob Abbas also criticised the move. “What is this? The BJP will paint it saffron, the SP will choose green and the BSP blue…This is politics of colour and should be avoided,” he said. Stating that he had nothing to do with the move, UP Minister of State for Minority Affairs Mohsin Raza on Friday asked if those opposed to the colour were also opposed to the Tricolour, which also has saffron in it.
Sources said this is the first time that the boundary wall of the office — located in an old government building opposite the Vidhan Sabha and next to the newly constructed Lok Bhavan — has been painted this colour. “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,” said Haj Committee Secretary R P Singh.
“The painter chose a darker colour to bring out the pillars and designs,” he added. While a senior official in the Haj Committee said that the boundary wall was earlier light yellow and the pillars light green, Singh denied that green was used.
Raza, the lone Muslim member in the Adityanath government, 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?” The minister said that the Hazratganj market was painted pink and the signboards black during Mayawati’s regime. “It is a government office and has been painted in a colour which the officers and staff decided,” he added.