In an apparent move to woo Muslims, Uttar Pradesh government today declared a public holiday on Eid-milad-un-Nabi on December 24.
"A public holiday has been declared on December 24 on the occasion of Eid-milad-un-Nabi," Principal Secretary, General Administration, Harijraj Kishore said in its order.
The move by Samajwadi government is being seen in the political circles in the context of elections for the 403 member Uttar Pradesh Assembly due early 2017.
With the decision, the number of official holidays in Uttar Pradesh has reached 39.
"With 39 public holidays a year, there has been a 50 per cent increase in the state government's list of public holidays in the past 10 years," noted a senior official.
Ealier, this month the state government had declared a holiday on May 9 on occasion of birth anniversary of Maharana Pratap on demand of leaders of "Thakur" community and on December 6, the death anniversary of Bhim Rao Ambedkar, which was seen as an attempt to appease Dalits.
The government had also declared a holiday on the birth anniversary of former Prime Minister Chandrashekhar (April17), Maharishi Kashyap and Maharshi Nishadraj Jayanti (April 5), and Hazrat Ajmeri Garib Nawaj Urs (April 26) besides others.
They had earlier also declared June 24 as public holiday in the state to mark socialist leader Karpoori Thakur's birth anniversary.