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Mudda panellists debate unnecessary saffronisation of Uttar Pradesh, wonder when the Yogi government will deliver on promises of development

From public transport to the towels used by CM Yogi Adityanath in public meetings, the entire state has been painted saffron. Many are asking that when the government was formed on the agenda of development, how come a particular colour is being promoted this aggressively. It is being said that, even after the CM’s directions not to make any special arrangements for his visits, bureaucrats are making these “saffron” arrangements to please him. This shows that officials, too, are moving towards saffronisation.

Friday’s edition of Mudda was anchored by Anant Tyagi. Panellists were Manoj Yadav from Samajwadi Party, BJP spokesperson Chandra Bhushan Pandey, Congress spokesperson Surendra Rajput, ex-IAS officer SP Singh and APN consulting editor Govind Pant Raju.

Pandey defended allegations of saffronisation by giving it all a new name—religious tourism. He said that the government is trying to cash on religious tourism for the prosperity of the state. “Religion is not on our agenda but development is our priority. We are trying to reduce debt and increase revenue; it is just that the government has added religious tourism to the list of things that bring revenue to the state,” said Pandey.

Pandey’s argument was countered by Surendra Rajput, as he said Uttar Pradesh has always been known for its religious sites and the state never had to advertise so extensively about it.

“Uttar Pradesh never had to advertise for religious tourism, people were driven towards the state automatically. Looking at the government’s attitude, it seems as if Ayodhya cropped up today and it wasn’t there at the time of Mayawati, Kalyan Singh and others,” said Rajput.

Rajput alleged that the government is trying to dodge the basic question and since it has no answers and no policies for the promised development, it is trying to divert people’s attention towards saffronisation. He also criticised the government’s attitude of labelling all critics anti-national.

“The government has not delivered on the promises it made— the farmers were promised implementation of the Swaminathan report and the youth were promised jobs. The government avoids addressing the basic question and when the opposition raises them we become ‘anti-national’ and ‘anti-religion’. Is religion only yours?” asked Rajput.

SP Singh expressed his displeasure at the government not meeting the public’s expectations. He said that he will not mind saffronisation if the government addresses the real issues such as introducing a policy to save the dying children and to repair the dire condition of the roads.

“Bring policies and colour them saffron if you want. The elections are nowhere near, there is no need of this saffronisation at this moment, then why waste time on it? Schools are awaiting teachers; the departments are awaiting their officials. How much time does the government need to make the appointments? ” Singh said.

-Compiled by Lilly Singh

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