Hours after the Sunday night’s tragic stampede in Allahabad, which claimed 36 lives and left 30 injured, Uttar Pradesh Urban Development Minster Azam Khan stepped down as the chairman of the Kumbh Mela committee.
“Even though the tragedy occurred outside the boundaries of the Kumbh Mela area, I have made up my mind to relinquish my position as chairman of the committee on moral grounds,” he said while speaking at a function in his home constituency Rampur on Monday.
It may be mentioned that the minister had really shown much enthusiasm in organising the Kumbh Mela and had been close associated with the nitty-gritty of the gathering. He had made it a point to undertake several trips to Allahabad to oversee the arrangements both before and after the start of the 55-day festival, which opened on January 14.
Hoardings with a picture of Azam Khan welcoming pilgrims were put up all across the sprawling 58-sq km spread of the mela that drew nearly three crore people on Mauni Amavasya (Sunday).