Continuing the grand tradition of political parties leaving behind symbols associated with their ideology, the Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh flagged off saffron-coloured buses in the state, said media reports.
The 50 public buses will connect interior areas, where the government is planning to build "gaurav paths" (link roads to villages of fallen soldiers), reported Hindustan Times. The project for better road connectivity begins in Varanasi, Gorakhpur, Kanpur, Allahabad, Bareilly and Moradabad. Run by the UP State Road Corporation, the service will be called Sankalp and be part of the government's plan to provide public transport to 40,000 villages in the next four years.
The report quoted Adityanath as saying that his government is committed to ensure safe and comfortable transport to the people.
The Indian Express noted that what started with a saffron towel being put on Adityanath’s chair at his official residence and his car seat, has now moved on to government booklets, school bags and buses. The list of official saffron things in the state now includes certificates for sportspersons, booklets with details of awardees, certificates for beneficiaries of crop loan schemes, booklets to mark achievements of the government, information department's diary of contact details of officials, and identity cards at the Secretariat.
The government said that it did not take any conscious decision to switch to saffron and it was merely a coincidence, said the report.
Uttar Pradesh joins Gujarat and Maharashtra in the saffronisation drive, according to Catch News. In Gujarat, bus stops have been painted saffron while the Maharashtra Transport Corporation has decided to acquire saffron and white coloured buses for its fleet. Other political parties too have followed this strategy in the past as Samajwadi Party’s red and green and Bahujan Samaj Party’s blue were ubiquitous colours when these parties were in power.
The news of the saffron buses comes only a day after the Adityanath government had proposed to build a 'grand statue' of Lord Ram on the banks of Saryu river in Ayodhya. It is being planned as part of the Navya Ayodhya project which is seen as an initiative by the Uttar Pradesh government to promote religious tourism.
The BJP government at the Centre too has been busy with a self-promotion drive as it has sought to promote its ideology and itself through textbooks. Having faced flak for trying to saffronise the syllabus initially, the Centre is tried to include the positive aspects of its flagship programmes in textbooks. The Indian Express had reported in August that the government's pet projects like Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, Beti Bachao Beti Padhao Abhiyan, Digital India campaign and demonetisation are likely to be included in NCERT textbooks for the next academic session.
Updated Date: Oct 12, 2017 09:37:36 IST