A woman from Bahraich told the portal that she and several other fellow villagers had been visiting Deepotsav for the last three years in the hope of collecting the residual oil. A ration-card holder, she admitted that she collected her quota of free ration but argued that she could not afford to buy oil all the time. The oil collected from the lamps, she claimed, was used for cooking and depending on the quantity, lasted her between six and eight months.
The visuals of the women and children collecting oil went viral, especially one in which a policeman in uniform is seen asking a woman to leave, prompting some people to question the extravaganza. Some snidely asked if the mustard oil was supplied by the Adani Group.
Others were upset at the visuals stoking a needless controversy. Some of them accused the women of stealing the oil which, they said, would be sold to food stalls run on sidewalks. A few pointed out that the wicks were soaked in sesame oil and camphor and hence the oil from the burnt lamps could not possibly be used for cooking. Some smelled a conspiracy to defame the Uttar Pradesh government and the Hindu religion.
Some pointed out that Deepotsav generated custom for potters and employment for others.