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Blue, saffron, blue, the changing colours of Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar

Blue, saffron, blue, the changing colours of Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar

A freshly installed 5-foot-tall statue of Dalit icon Bhimrao Ambedkar in saffron jacket in Badaun district of western UP was re-painted blue today after local BSP leaders' intervention amid questions over the choice of a colour associated with Hindutva. "The colour of rising Sun is also saffron", Gautam said. Later the Hajj House was repainted after much protest. According to the reports, the opposition accused the BJP of "saffronising" Ambedkar.

BSP district chief Hemendra Gautam explained the first priority was to install the statue.

In the last week of March, the Adityanath government had passed an official order seeking to add the middle name "Ramji" to Ambedkar's full name in all official correspondence; Ramji was the name of Ambedkar's father. An Ambedkar statue was vandalised on Friday night in Dugraiyya village in the district reportedly in the presence of police officers and locals.

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This is a conscious effort by the party to project the ideological stalwarts of both of its regional rivals, the Bahujan Samaj Party and the Samajwadi Party, at the same political platform to appeal to the backward communities.

The saffron based party with Yogi Adityanath in power in the state in UP past year, several buildings of official status were also painted in that color in Lucknow. They alleged that an attempt was being made to saffronise Dr Ambedkar.

Former BSP MLA from Dataganj in Badaun, Sinod Shakya, said, "After painting many buildings saffron across the state, the BJP government now wants to saffronise Ambedkar statues, which is unacceptable". This includes the CM's office and official residences of couple of state ministers.