Ambedkar statue painted in saffron in UP

In portraits and statues, Dalit icon B R Ambedkar is usually seen wearing a black or blue coat.

But in Uttar Pradesh's Badaun district, about 300 kilometres from here, a statue of Ambedkar has been painted in saffron from top to bottom, taking the people by surprise.

According to reports, a statue of Ambedkar had been vandalised at Kunwargaon village in the district on Friday triggering tension in the area.

The administration promised to install a new statue at the earliest. On Sunday, a new statue of Ambedkar was installed, but people were surprised to find that the Dalit icon was clad in saffron coat and trousers when the statue was unveiled in the presence of police and civil officials from the district.

The district officials did not explain the choice of colour and said a directive had been issued to the local police to remain on alert and take steps to prevent the vandalisation of the statues of icons of any community.

Earlier, the BJP government in the state had got the state secretariat building, state transport corporation buses, textbooks and school buildings painted in saffron.

Even the Uttar Pradesh Haj House was painted in saffron raising much hue and cry from the Muslim clergy. It was later painted white.

Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, who is always clad in saffron, has been trying to give government schemes and projects a saffron tint ever since he took charge. He also got the state transport corporation buses painted saffron.

The Samajwadi Party and Congress criticised the move. "Saffron colour cannot ensure the progress of the state," said SP leader Rajendra Chaudhary.

The BSP government under Mayawati, during its regime, had dyed government buildings and transport buses blue - the color her party is associated with. Even the state information department diary was printed blue.

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