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Yogi government joins birth centenary celebrations of Bahuguna

Chief minister Yogi Adityanath on Wednesday expressed surprise at the fact that there was no memorial or road named after former UP CM Hemwati Nandan Bahuguna in the state.

lucknow Updated: Apr 26, 2018 16:28 IST
Manish Chandra Pandey
Manish Chandra Pandey
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
Yogi government,Uttar Pradesh,UP CM Hemwati Nandan Bahuguna
The occasion was the launch of Bahuguna’s birth centenary celebrations which was attended by deputy chief ministers, ministers and leaders in Lucknow.(HT Photo)

Chief minister Yogi Adityanath on Wednesday expressed surprise at the fact that there was no memorial or road named after former UP CM Hemwati Nandan Bahuguna in the state.

The occasion was the launch of Bahuguna’s birth centenary celebrations which was attended by deputy chief ministers, ministers and leaders in Lucknow.

The function was chaired by Vidhan Sabha speaker Hriday Narain Dikshit. Earlier on Wednesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi released a stamp in memory of Bahuguna in Delhi.

“That there is no statue or memorial in Bahuguna’s memory establishes the fact that some people wanted the continued domination of one family in politics,” Adityanath said at the function.

There is a statue of Bahuguna in Allahabad but none in the state capital.

Though Yogi didn’t name anyone, it was obvious that he was taking a veiled potshot at the top Congress leadership for allegedly ignoring influential party leaders.

“My government will be part of centenary celebrations of the great leader,” Adityanath said amid indications that the government could announce a memorial in Bahuguna’s name.

Adityanath described the late Congress leader as a ‘great freedom fighter who used politics as a medium to serve the masses.

“I am surprised how there is no memorial in the name of Bahuguna. A memorial is a must to ensure that the legacy of the great leader is preserved for posterity,” he said.

Bahuguna’s son Vijay, who was made chief minister of Uttarakhand by Congress and daughter Rita, a former Allahabad mayor, had left the Congress and joined the BJP.

The BJP’s decision to join centenary celebrations of former Congress leader is also being seen as an attempt to appropriate the legacy of top Congress leaders like country’s first home minister Vallabh Bhai Patel whose birth anniversary is now celebrated by the BJP.

Rita, now a cabinet minister in UP government who after attending the Lucknow function flew to Delhi for the stamp release appeared overwhelmed.

“I am grateful to the Prime Minister and to the chief minister for honouring a leader who truly worked selflessly for the masses. His politics was never for the self,” Bahuguna’s daughter said.

“Bahuguna always stood by his friends and those loyal to him. That’s why even now every district in UP and Uttaranchal has Bahuguna loyalists who are known as Bahugunaites,” says veteran journalist Pradeep Kapoor who had frequently interacted with the great leader.

First Published: Apr 26, 2018 16:28 IST