Uttar Pradesh Chief minister Yogi Adityanath on Wednesday flagged off of a fleet of 50 saffron colored public buses in Lucknow, continuing the tradition of ruling parties promoting symbols representing their ideology. The bus service, named as ‘Sankalp Seva’ will connect interior areas, where the BJP government is planning to build “gaurav paths”, or link roads to villages of fallen soldiers.
Earlier, Bahujan Samaj Party and Samajwadi Party had also used blue and red-and-green (colour of their party symbols) respectively during their regime in the state.
Notedly, the chief minister himself wears saffron robe, keeps saffron towel on his chair at his official residence and on his car seat. Now the UP government is also distributing government booklets, school bags and even buses painted in saffron.
The Indian Express noted that the stage, where inaugural ceremony took place, was also decorated with saffron-coloured curtains, and the buses with saffron-coloured balloons. State’s Basic Education Department has already 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, UP chief minister handed out ‘Laxman and Rani Laxmi Bai’ awards to sportspersons in the state. Interestingly, even the certificates had a saffron background, and the booklet with details of the awardees was also saffron in colour. Not only students and sportspersons, even the certificates issued to the beneficiaries of the government’s flagship ‘Crop Loan Redemption Scheme’ had a light saffron background.
Even this year’s information department diary of state government, containing contact details of ministers and offices, has photographs of BJP ideologue Deendayal Upadhyaya, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Adityanath, and is saffron. The diary used to be red in colour during the SP government, and blue when Mayawati was chief minister.
When asked about the change in colour, Cabinet Minister and government spokesperson Shrikant Sharma said that it was not conscious decision to switch colour. “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.”