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Adityanath visits cow shelter patronised by Mulayam’s ‘chhoti bahu’ Aparna

Impressed by the facilities, the chief minister directed officials to come up with similar facilities in other districts and cities too.

india Updated: Apr 04, 2017 11:32 IST
Anupam Srivastava
Anupam Srivastava
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
Yogi Adityanath,Mulayam's chhoti bahu Aparna,UP deputy CM Dinesh Sharma
UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath feeds cows flanked by Mulayam Singh Yadav's daughter-in -law Aparna Yadav and deputy CM Dinesh Sharma during his visit to Kanha Upvan on Friday. (Deepak Gupta/ Hindustan Times)

Chief minister Yogi Adityanath on Friday visited Kanha Upvan, a shelter home for cows and other stray animals run by an NGO patronised by Samajwadi Party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav’s daughter-in-law Aparna Yadav.

Aparna and her husband, Mulayam’s son Prateek, who are ardent animal lovers and have been espousing the cause of stray cattle, gave the chief minister a tour of the sprawling complex at Lucknow’s Nadarganj area.

Spread across 54 acres, the Kanha Upvan, run by the NGO Jeevashraya, houses 950 cows, 917 bulls and 105 dogs in separate enclosures. It also has a veterinary hospital.

Impressed by the facilities at the complex, the chief minister directed government officials to come up with similar facilities in other districts and cities of the state too.

“With the expansion of cities, such shelter homes can be an ideal solution to address the issue of cattle settlement,” he said.

The 44-year-old monk-turned politician is also an animal lover. He has around 500 cows in a cattle shelter in the Gorakhnath temple, where he is also the head priest.

While taking a round of the veterinary hospital at the complex, the chief minister emphasised the need to have a similar heath facility in each zone of the city as transporting sick stray animals for treatment from one corner to other corner of the city is a cumbersome exercise.

Both Prateek and Aparna had met Adityanath soon after he was anointed as chief minister of UP, and discussed the cow protection measures in the state.

On Friday, they also had meetings with urban development minister Suresh Khanna and minister of state (independent charge) for women and family welfare Swati Singh.

Aparna had contested the recently concluded assembly elections on a SP ticket from Lucknow Cantonment, but lost to BJP’s Rita Bahuguna Joshi, who is now a minister in the Adityanath’s cabinet.

The chief minister’s visit to the shelter home, which was preceded by the duo’s courtesy call on him, has sparked intense speculation among political circles in the state, particularly given the vicious turf war between Mulayam and his elder son Akhilesh Yadav witnessed in the run up to the assembly elections.

During his visit to Kanha Upvan , Adityanath was accompanied by deputy chief minister Dinesh Sharma, who is credited with conceptualising the project as Lucknow’s mayor.

During his stay, Adityanath performed puja in an in-house temple and offered fodder to cows.

He also directed municipality officials to arrange for the education of the children of the labourers working at the shelter home.

“The chief minister was happy to see the shelter home and has ensured all the help for its expansion,” said Yatindre Trivedi, general secretary, of the NGO.

First Published: Mar 31, 2017 22:21 IST