The move prompted the Samajwadi Party chief to target the state government, saying, “Bhagwa wale bathroom me koi jayega to socho kiska apmaan hoga… Isne dharam ka bhi apmaan kiya hai… batao bhagwa kar diya…ye dharm ka apman karne wali sarkar hai. (If someone uses a saffron bathroom, who is it that will be insulted? This is also an insult to religion…this government is one that insults religion).”
PTI quoted Akhilesh as saying: “They named toilets as izzatghar and then splattered colour on that izzat (honour)…”We believe that changing colours will not change anything… It is only the colour of development that is permanent… Instead of doing anything for people’s welfare, the BJP is involved in works that divert attention.”
In Basrehar Block’s Panchayat of Amritpur, which comprises three villages with a combined population of around 800, of toilets sanctioned under the Swachh Bharat and ODF government schemes, 100 are being painted saffron. Denying “political pressure”, the village panchayat said it has “chosen” to paint its toilets this colour “to pay tribute” to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, with an aim to promote cleanliness.
Village head Ved Pal Singh said the district administration had no role in the move, and another 500 sanctioned toilets, once built, will also be painted saffron. Apart from the 100 saffron toilets, another 350 have been painted red, yellow and white, depending on the choice of the beneficiary, Singh added.
“All the people wanted this colour. I took suggestions from local residents and they were in favour. It was the people’s choice and we would like other villages to follow this. When the BJP is ruling at the Centre and has formed the state government, why should we not reflect their presence at the village and panchayat level?” asked Singh.
Block Development Officer (Basrehar) Prashant Singh said, “No directive has been issued to village pradhans to paint saffron toilets that are under government schemes. Money is transferred to beneficiaries, after which it is up to them to paint their toilets as they like. We only ensure there is uniformity in the size of toilets and that details of the beneficiaries are displayed along with the concerned scheme.”
Reacting to the development, Congress state president Raj Babbar said, “Woh rang nahi hai, woh humari aastha hai. Rang kehke uska apman hai.. Souchalaya mein aastha wala colour? (That is not a colour, it is our faith. Using a colour of faith on a toilet?)” He also alleged that government funds were being used to purchase towels to cover Adityanath’s chairs.
“Rang mein rajneeti jisko karna hai woh karein (Whoever wants to politicise this issue can do so). I don’t see what the problem is in colouring the toilets saffron. This does not desecrate the colour. Hum aajkal bolte hain – pehle sauchalay, phir devalay (Today we say, first toilet, then temple). This will promote cleanliness and abate diseases,” said the village head.
(Source: The Indian Express)