An entire lane in Prayagraj was painted in saffron colour on Tuesday, despite stiff opposition from residents.
All houses, single, double or triple stories, and shops on both sides of the lane in the Bahadurganj area, which wore different shades till Monday, now sport the Bhagwa (sffron) shade throughout. Citizens are unhappy and they call it “goondaism” at the behest of BJP leader and UP cabinet minister Nand Kumar ‘Nandi’.
“This forceful painting of our houses is appalling and condemnable. Nandi and the city mayor had done this despite our protest,” Ramesh Kesarwani, head of the local vyapar mandal alleged.
Another resident and businessman, Ravi Gupta, alleged, “The minister's men came and started spraying bhagwa paint on our houses. Indian constitution has given some fundamental rights. We must be allowed to live the way we want, not the way the local BJP leader wants.”
Gupta has filed an FIR (first information report) against one Kamal Kesarwani and some unknown people in this regard. “I was threatened and abused after I asked them to stop,” he alleges in the FIR. A second FIR, filed by another resident, claims the minister sent the men.
Nandi himself stays in the same lane and his own house sports the same colour.
Nandi, however, rejects the criticism and justifies the move as “development work”.
Nandi claimed before the media, “Is this bhagwa? You can see yourself that there are shades of yellow, red, green and even chocolate. I have painted the lane like Ram Darbar which has different shades. There are people who never like development work I have been doing since long. They want to get famous by just opposing me.”
Abhay Awasthi, another resident, said, “CM Yogi himself wears saffron but Nandi has gone many steps ahead. He seeks to paint the entire Prayagraj and then Uttar Pradesh in saffron, and become the chief minister himself.”
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