Now, books not bouquets to welcome guests in UP | lucknow | Hindustan Times
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Now, books not bouquets to welcome guests in UP

The Yogi Adityanath government claimed the move would help curb wasteful expenditure besides encouraging people to read “prernadai pustakein (inspirational books)” even as it stopped short of telling what the literature would be like.

lucknow Updated: Aug 03, 2017 17:37 IST
Manish Chandra Pandey
The Yogi ministers and the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party predictably welcomed the move even though florists looked worried at possible loss of business.
The Yogi ministers and the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party predictably welcomed the move even though florists looked worried at possible loss of business.

Quickly following the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s advice of replacing bouquets with books during official functions, the UP government has ordered its officials to implement the same in letter and spirit.

The Yogi Adityanath government claimed the move would help curb wasteful expenditure besides encouraging people to read “prernadai pustakein (inspirational books)” even as it stopped short of telling what the literature would be like.

“The order is very clear as it says ‘inspirational books’. So we intend to encourage good reading habits,” said Awanish Awasthi, UP’s principal secretary, information.

The move also coincides with a government order asking all educational institutes to keep complete works of Deendayal Upadhayaya, the saffron ideologue whose birth centenary is being celebrated in UP.

The Yogi ministers and the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party predictably welcomed the move even though florists looked worried at possible loss of business and opposition parties too weren’t as forthcoming.

“The decision would hit us hard as we are already experiencing a slump in business,” said Suraj Manna, a florist who used to supply flowers for government functions.

UP’s finance minister Rajesh Agarwal, however, said the government was busy promoting floriculture and hence the florists have nothing to worry.

“Nobody should worry. We are boosting floriculture in the state but the decision is a step in the right direction. Bouquets got wasted and forgotten. Books and their teachings last a lifetime. I had already stopped accepting bouquets long back. It’s a welcome move,” Agarwal told HT.

The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party too issued an advisory to the cadre to follow the no-bouquet move.

“We had during party’s intellectual cell meeting in Lucknow welcomed party chief Amit Shahji with book and a solitary flower. Cadres have been asked to follow the advice given by the Prime Minister and now being followed by the state government as well,” UP BJP general secretary Vijay Bahadur Pathak said.

State’s main opposition Samajwadi Party, however, wasn’t as impressed. “It’s their government but as far we are concerned all I can say is that none can force us to follow a particular methodology of welcome. None can tell us if we want to welcome anyone by garlands, bouquets or books,” former UP minister and Samajwadi Party lawmaker Manoj Pandey said.