LUCKNOW: Taking inspiration from Prime Minister Narendra Modi's decision to not participate in Holi get-together functions in sight of the coronavirus scare, the BJP leaders in Uttar Pradesh have also begun cancelling 'Holi Milan' events within the state.
BJP President J.P. Nadda has also written to all unit chiefs, advising against social gatherings and Holi Milan events, party leaders said.
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath announced on Wednesday night that he will stand back from Holi Milan and urged people to avoid social gatherings as did several of his colleagues. "Prevention is better than cure. I would appeal to all to avoid social gatherings and take good care of themselves and their family," Adityanath said.
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has been celebrating the festival in Gorakhpur, where he meets and greets people in large numbers.
Almost all politicians in the state hold similar functions in their respective constituencies.
Uttar Pradesh minister for micro, small and medium enterprises and Khadi industries, Siddhartha Nath Singh, who is additionally the state government's spokesman, has announced the postponement of a Holi Milan event scheduled for March 8 in Prayagraj, which is his constituency.
"I will hold it later," said Singh who was the first Uttar Pradesh Minister to distance himself from the Holi Milan.
State Energy Minister Shrikant Sharma, who is also a government spokesperson, said, "Holi is a major festival for us Brajwasis. Yet, in the wake of the coronavirus scare, I have decided to cancel all my pre-scheduled functions in which I was to participate. I think it is in everybody's interest that social gatherings are avoided till the time the scare lasts."
However, Samajwadi Party leaders will celebrate Holi in Sefai in Etawah with family, friends and supporters.
"We will celebrate in the traditional manner and we will not let the coronavirus scare bog us down," said a SP leader.
A Congress leader also echoed similar sentiments when he said that when people within the constituency come to celebrate the festival, it might be improper to show them away.