After announcing “namaz break” for Muslim state employees, the Harish Rawat government has now said that all employees can take “special short breaks” during festivals, PTI reported. The government employees, regardless of their religion, caste and creed, will now be allowed to take short breaks if they make requests for it.

“The chief minister took the decision in view of the spurt in demands for holidays by the state employees belonging to different religions and communities on festivals,” a statement released by the Uttarakhand government said.

The Uttarakhand government had recently said that Muslims employees among the government staff would be allowed a two-hour break every Friday to offer prayers. The Uttarakhand government faced severe criticism from the Opposition who accused them for indulging in “minority appeasement” ahead of the 2017 Assembly polls.