‘No Special Arrangements For Me’, Yogi Directs Officials In UP

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Lucknow: Days after videos of his visits within the state drew criticism, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath asked his chief secretary and other senior officers not to make any special arrangements for him and his staff during such trips. The order, issued yesterday by the Chief Minister’s office, comes in the wake of controversies surrounding his two recent visits.

“We are people used to sitting on the ground, so there should be no special arrangements. The Chief Minister deserves respect only if the people of the state feel respected,” the order said.

Last month, the family of Prem Sagar — a Border Security Force man who was murdered and mutilated in Jammu and Kashmir — said the special arrangements made before the Chief Minister’s visit left them “humiliated”.

The local administration had installed an air-conditioner, rolled out a carpet, placed a sofa and spread saffron-coloured towels for the special guest. However, all of it was taken away the moment he left, the family said. Daya Shankar, brother of the martyred soldier, who also works with the BSF, said it was an “insult”.

Last week, people belonging to a Scheduled Caste — the Mushahar community, one of the poorest in Uttar Pradesh — alleged they were given soap and shampoo by the local administration ahead of a visit by the Chief Minister. They were reportedly asked to bathe and clean up before they attended the function in Kushinagar.

In the videos that were widely shared on the internet, people displayed the soap, shampoo and even washing powder packets that they allegedly received.