Vrindavan 2016.08.31 (VT): Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly is being graced by paintings of the celebrated Vrindavan artists Padmshri Krishn Kanhai and Govind Kanhai. The life-size paintings of current and former chief ministers set new standards at the Assembly gallery.
The Kanhai family made a gallery of 40 life size portraits for the UP Legislative Assembly over a single year. The permanent exhibition was inaugurated by UP CM Akhilesh Yadav and MLA Dimpal Yadav on Monday at the opening of the Monsoon Session of the Sabha.
Padmashri Krishn Kanhai had already presented portraits of Akhilesh Yadav and Mulayam Singh Yadav to the Chief Minister at Agra in 2014. Later, in 2015, he announced that he was creating a portrait gallery of all former Uttar Pradesh chief ministers along with that of the present CM.
Of the 40 portraits, 21 portraits are of the current and former chief ministers, 18 portraits are of the current and former Assembly speakers, and one portrait is of Mahatma Gandhi.
This gallery is the first of its kind in any state of the country except for the Rashtrapathi Bhawan and PM’s residence in Delhi. The UP CM invited all former CMs, including BSP president Mayawati and Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, as well as Rajasthan governor Kalyan Singh and UP Governor Ram Naik for the unveiling ceremony of the gallery. Living ex-CMs include Mulayam Singh Yadav, Narain Dutt Tiwari, Rajnath Singh and Kalyan Singh.
“Ms Mayawati has also been invited and if she attends the ceremony, then it would offer a rare spectacle of Akhilesh unveiling her portrait,” an official said.
One official said that idea of the portrait gallery was Akhilesh Yadav’s project to honour his predecessors. Initially, the plan was to have portraits only of post-Independence chief ministers, but the CM wanted to pay tributes to Sir Nawab Mohammed Ahmed Saeed Khan, who was the CM from April 3, 1937 to July 16 1937 when the head of the state was called premier. Not only CMs, but the gallery also has oil portraits of all the past 18 Speakers of UP Assembly who have been part of the journey and the evolution of the House.
The Assembly Secretariat engaged world-renowned artists Krishn Kanhai and Govinda Kanhai, whose oil works are seen on the walls of Parliament where they have made portraits of the first Prime Minister Jawahar Lal Nehru, former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and the former deputy Prime Minister Lal Krishna Advani.
The UP Assembly also released a coffee table book on the life and times of all the former chief ministers and speakers. The portraits of those former CMs who are alive and unable to attend will only be unveiled when they can be personally present.
The 22 UP CMs, whose protraits would be put on in the gallary are, Sir Nawab Mohammed Ahmed Saeed Khan, Govind Bhallabh Pant, Dr Sampoornanad, Chandra Bhanu Gupta, Sucheta Kriplani, Chaudhary Charan Singh, Tribhuwan Narain Singh, Kamla Pati Tripathi, Hemvati Nandan Bahuguna, Narain Dutt Tewari, Ram Naresh Yadav, Banarasi Das, Vishwanath Pratap Singh, Shri Pati Mishra, Vir Bahadur Singh, Mulayam Singh Yadav, Kalyan Singh, Sushri Mayawati, Ram Prakash Gupta, Rajnath Singh and Akhilesh Yadav.