After the BSP’s blue and the SP’s red-and-green, it is time for another colour change in Uttar Pradesh — to saffron. It started with a saffron towel being put on Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s chair at his official residence and his car seat, then moved on to government booklets, school bags and even buses.
On Wednesday, Adityanath flagged off 50 saffron-coloured buses of the State Road Transport Corporation, named ‘Sankalp Seva’, to provide service in rural areas. The stage was decorated with saffron-coloured curtains, and the buses with saffron-coloured balloons. Sources in the transport department said the buses were painted saffron at the Kanpur workshop, and more such buses would join the fleet.
Earlier, the Basic Education Department replaced school bags carrying former Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav’s photograph with saffron-coloured bags, to be distributed to government primary schools.
On August 29, Adityanath handed out ‘Laxman and Rani Laxmi Bai’ awards to sportspersons in the state. The certificates had a saffron background, and the booklet with details of the awardees was also saffron in colour.
Similarly, the certificates issued to beneficiaries of the government’s flagship ‘Crop Loan Redemption Scheme’ had a light saffron background.
In June, Adityanath released a booklet to mark 100 days of his government. Another booklet was released on completion of six months. Both the booklets were saffron in colour.
The cover of the information department’s diary published this year, containing the contact details of all government ministers and offices, also has a saffron background, with photographs of BJP ideologue Deendayal Upadhyaya, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Adityanath. The diary used to be red in colour during the SP government, and blue when Mayawati was chief minister.
The Secretariat Administration department has also replaced the blue straps of identity cards with saffron.
Asked about the colour change, Cabinet Minister and government spokesperson Shrikant Sharma said: “We like all the colours, but saffron is our favourite because it represents tyaag, balidaan aur shaurya (sacrifice and bravery). The national flag also has saffron. Saffron is our personal choice and nobody should have any objection to it.”
He, however, said the government had not taken any conscious decision to switch to saffron. “If there is saffron colour in all these things, it is merely a coincidence. This government is for all, and people from all sections benefit from our schemes. Discrimination was done by past governments only,” he said.