Lucknow: Days after Haj office was turned saffron in Uttar Pradesh, a nearly 80-year-old police station in the state capital has recently been painted in the same colour. Built in 1939, the police station had the traditional colours of a police station – yellow and red. But this time round some pillars and certain parts of the building have acquired a bright saffron hue against a light cream background.
"The renovation had started almost two-and-a-half months ago as part of an annual programme," Inspector in-charge DK Upadhyaya told PTI. The renovation work is incomplete as the labourers have recently stopped coming because of the intense cold, he added.
Ever since Yogi Adityanath took over as the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, the colour saffron appears to have become a defining characteristic of the state. It has virtually permeated everything -- from booklets and school bags to towels or chairs and even buses. And the Qaiser Bagh police station in Lucknow seems to be the latest on the list.
The Lal Bahadur Shastri Bhawan, which houses the chief minister's office, was painted saffron in October, 2017. The facade of the state secretariat was given a saffron hue months after Adityanath took over the reins of the state. Adityanath loves to see a saffron towel on his seat in his office. Recently, he flagged off a fleet of 50 saffron-coloured buses.
Besides, the education department had distributed saffron-coloured school bags in government primary schools, replacing the ones that featured former chief minister Akhilesh Yadav's picture. Official booklets that were distributed to mark 100 days and then six months of the Adityanath government had saffron covers and the information diary of the state government, which contains the contacts and designations of various officials, is also saffron.
The latest move has drawn criticism from the opposition. Condemning the government, SP spokesperson Sunil Singh Sajan said, "The Uttar Pradesh government is trying to gauge the reaction of public by painting various buildings saffron. They are indulging in politics of colour only to divert the attention of the people from their failure to carry out any developmental work in the state."
Interestingly, after the bright saffron shade on the Haj office boundary wall attracted criticism from the Opposition and flak from Muslim bodies, it was given a cream coat by the Estates department recently. The boundary wall originally was green and white. The Haj office colour prompted the SP to accuse the government of "blatant saffronisation" after a series of steps were perceived by it as "anti-minority".
With inputs from PTI....