UP Haj office's wall painted in saffron

Lucknow Exterior walls of Uttar Pradesh Haj House painted saffron in Lucknow on Jan 5 2017

Lucknow Exterior walls of Uttar Pradesh Haj House painted saffron in Lucknow on Jan 5 2017

Justifying the repainting, secretary, State Haj Committee, RP Singh held the contractor, entrusted with whitewashing the building, responsible for the goof up. Earlier, a few police stations in Bijnore and Azamgarh, the parliamentary constituency of Samajwadi Party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav, were similarly painted.

In the latest attempt, UP government has painted the exterior of Lucknow's Haj House in saffron colour. "There is no need for controversy in such things, saffron is an energetic and bright looking colour".

The move did not go down well with the opposition who claimed that the ruling-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had resorted to alleged "saffronisation" of the state. "Painting the Haj house in saffron colour is an anti-Muslim act", he had stated.

Singh said the wall is now repainted in cream. Qaiserbagh Police Station was the next in line. "An action is also being taken against the contractor", he said, in a statement.

In September a year ago, the state government painted its secretariat annexe building (Shastri Bhawan) in shades of saffron and then launched a rural bus service with saffron coloured buses.

While the two main buildings near the Haj office - the Vidhan Bhawan and Lok Bhawan (chief minister's secretariat) are stone structured, the other important building in the vicinity- the BJP state headquarters-wears the same dark and light shades of saffron that the contractor applied on the Haj office's boundary wall.

The colour saffron is most often associated with Hinduism, and especially with the the Sangh Parivar of which the BJP is a part.

Another committee member said on the condition of anonymity that "someone from Delhi" asked Adityanath to restore the previous colour scheme.

Meanwhile, Minister of State for Minority Affairs Mohsin Raza told the media "I fail to understand the problem of those having issues with the new colour".

"This is peculiar politics".

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