BR Ambedkar's saffron statue, repainted in UP

The move invited sharp criticism from the Opposition which questioned the timing of the order and alleged that it was taken on political considerations

Ambedkar's statues anywhere in India depict him dressed in a blue-colour coat.

A freshly installed 5-foot-tall statue of Dalit icon Bhimrao Ambedkar in saffron jacket in Badaun district of western UP was repainted blue today amid questions over the choice of a colour associated with Hindutva. "Our first priority was to install the statue, so we did not bother about the colour", he said adding a request that the administration should paint it a blue since it had been installed. This Ambedkar's statue was in saffron colour sherwani that triggered huge protests from Dalits, demanding it to be in blue.

Reports said that after the statue was vandalised last Friday night, district officials ordered a new one from Agra. The statue in the news from Badaun's Dugraiyaa village is an exception. He many a times said: "Saffron represents purity... can someone deny the existence of the sun which is also saffron... people questioning all these are narrow-minded".

The following development comes after the Government had chose to introduce "Ramji" as his middle name in all the official documents. Bahujan Samaj Party workers repainted the statue on the orders of the party's regional head Hemendra Gautam, who was present at the unveiling of the statue on Monday.

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The Opposition has accused the BJP of "saffronising" BR Ambedkar.

The move to install a saffron Ambedkar statue comes as the BJP appears to be going through a crisis in credibility with the dalit community.

The state has been draped in this colour hue ever since the Yogi-led Bharatiya Janata Party government came into the power.

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