The exterior of Lucknow’s Haj House has been painted saffron by the Yogi Adityanath-led BJP government with opposition parties saying the choice of colour was politically motivated.
The Hajj House wall, which was painted green and white earlier, reportedly got the new look overnight since the work was carried out at midnight, according to news 18.com.
The move prompted the Samajwadi Party to accuse the government of “saffronisation” after a series of steps perceived as “anti-minority”.
“The government is doing politics of colours and trying to hide its failures. Saffron is the colour of faith for us, but can it give food to the hungry? Or medicine to the ill? If colouring everything saffron had been of any help, Yogi should have achieved so much in 10 months. He wears saffron from head to toe. Still he has not been able to do anything for the people of the state,” Samajwadi Party MLC and spokesperson Sunil Singh Sajan sa
The colour saffron is most often associated with Hinduism, and especially with the the Sangh Parivar of which the BJP is a part.
But one Muslim UP minister found nothing objectionable about this saffronisation, according to Times of India.
“There is no need for controversy in such things, saffron is an energetic and bright looking colour, the building looks beautiful,” said Mohsin Raza,a minister in the Adityanath government in UP.
“Opposition has no big issues against us so they raise inconsequential things,” alleged Raza.
The Haj House facilitates remote check-in, pre-immigration and pre-customs checks for pilgrims. It also has a prayer hall and a separate residential block to accommodate about 200 pilgrims.
Besides rolling out saffron-coloured buses, the BJP government has painted several government buildings saffron including secretariat annex building that houses the offices of chief minister Adityanath and top bureaucrats.
The department of energy, too, decided to paint electric pole saffron. And the information department’s official site and booklet are also coloured similarly.