Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath skipped an iftar party hosted by governor Ram Naik at Raj Bhawan in Lucknow on Friday.
“The chief minister informed me over telephone that he will be in New Delhi for filing of nomination of NDA presidential candidate Ram Nath Kovind and will not be able to make it,” said Naik.
Significantly, unlike his predecessors, Adityanath did not host an iftar, the first meal a Muslim takes after roza (the dawn-to-dusk fasting) during the month of Ramadan.
This is for the first time in recent years that a chief minister did not host an iftar party and also refrained from attending one at the Raj Bhawan.
His predecessors, Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav, SP patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav, Rajasthan governor Kalyan Singh, union home minister Rajnath Singh, had hosted iftar parties at the chief minister’s residence.
BSP chief Mayawati too had hosted the iftar at a hotel instead of hosting it at the chief minister’s residence when she was holding the coveted post.
As chief minister only late Ram Prakash Gupta had stayed away from hosting iftar party in the recent past.
As Prime Minister, Narendra Modi too has not hosted any iftar party so far.
Late Hemvati Nandan Bahuguna had introduced the tradition of chief minister hosting iftar party in 1974. Later many central leaders adopted this.
Late Indira Gandhi too had hosted iftar as Prime Minister so also BJP stalwart Atal Bihari Vajpayee and his successor Manmohan Singh.
Khalid Rashid and Shia cleric Maulana Kalbe Jawad led the ‘nawaz’ for their respective sects at the Raj Bhawan.
Former chief ministers Mulayam Singh Yadav and Akhilesh Yadav too were conspicuous by their absence at the iftar party at the Raj Bhawan. They too informed the governor about their inability to attend the iftar party as they would be away in new Delhi.
Senior ministers of the Yogi government, Congress MP Pramod Tiwari, BJP MP Jagdambika Pal, former MP Lalji Tandon and senior Samajwadi Party leader Ahmad Hasan attended the iftar among others.
Incidentally, Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee (UPCC) also did not host any iftar party in the last two years.
“The UPCC had proposed to host an Iftar this year. It was, however, cancelled at the last minute due to unforeseen circumstances,” said a senior Congress leader.