As Uttar Pradesh mourns the deaths of over 60 children at a Gorakhpur hospital over the past week, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has directed preparations for a "grand Krishna Janmashtami celebration" in the state.
Speaking at a press conference in Bengaluru, BJP President Amit Shah defended the decision taken by UP Chief Minister:
Janmashtami is another matter, which will take place in the country and Uttar Pradesh according to the personal belief of people. This is not a government festival.
In a communique issued late on 13 August to the Director General of Police (DGP) Sulkhan Singh, Adityanath said: “Krishna Janmashtami is an important festival and the police should organise it in a traditional and grand way.”
Days After 65 Children Died in Gorakhpur
Adityanath’s order comes just days after over 65 children died at the Baba Raghav Das (BRD) medical college within a span of a week in Gorakhpur — incidentally, the Chief Minister's hometown and parliamentary constituency.
Adityanath said this year the festival celebrating the birth of Lord Krishna should be organised “with Indian traditions”. Following the diktat, DGP Singh has written to all district police chiefs, superintendents of police in the Railways and commandants of the Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) to adhere to the instructions.
A state Department of Information and Public Relations (DIPR) statement said such celebrations that had been done away with earlier, were being revived.
Agenda in the Wake of Tragedies, Says AAP
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has reacted sharply to the missive.
This is ironical, tragic and in some ways reflective of the mindset of powers that be. They will go ahead with their agenda even in the wake of tragedies of such magnitude.Vaibhav Maheshwari, Spokesperson, Aam Aadmi Party
Other political leaders have also slammed the state government for the decision but refused to come on record, fearing backlash from "Hindu forces".
(With IANS inputs)
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