Lucknow, July 13
Uttar Pradesh chief minister’s office has banned red-carpet welcomes during visits and asked bureaucrats to “keep it simple”, days after controversy over officials covering up a muddy road with a red carpet during Yogi Adityanath’s visit.
“The CM has desired that no red carpets, special towels or particular sofa be arranged during his visits,” read the orders issued by the CM’s principal secretary SP Goyal.
The orders have put the officials in a fix and many say they are unsure about what arrangements are to be made in the absence of clear orders.
“It’s a common practice to make seating arrangements for the VIP arrange bouquets for welcome and refreshments. What are we supposed to do now?” a district magistrate from eastern UP asked when told about the orders from the chief minister’s office.
On Saturday, controversy erupted after a mud road leading to the house of a slain CRPF sub-inspector in Hamirpur district’s Majhgawa village was covered up by carpets during the CM’s visit. Sources claimed that CM Yogi Adityanath expressed his displeasure over the administration’s failure to ensure proper roads. Officials said the carpet was laid to provide easy access to the house as rain rendered the road slippery.
In addition, a luxurious sofa and a cooler were placed and a red carpet laid inside the room where Adityanath spent about 10 minutes. “I don’t know much but sofa and carpet were set up for the CM,” Saurabh, the son of the martyr, said.
Last month, a storm of criticism was unleashed after the administration made similar arrangements for another visit in Deoria but took back the air conditioner and sofa from the family of another slain soldier after Adityanath left the premises. Many questioned whether the move had insulted the dead personnel’s family.
Adityanath reportedly took note of the criticism and conveyed his displeasure of the manner in which the whole episode was handled by local officials.
Lucknow, July 13