UP cabinet approves renaming of Faizabad as Ayodhya, Allahabad as Prayagraj

SBSP chief Om Prakash Rajbhar mocks BJP over move
Report by: 
Agencies
Lucknow
13 Nov 2018

The Uttar Pradesh government today approved renaming of Faizabad and Allahabad divisions as Ayodhya and Prayagraj respectively.
The decision was taken at a meeting of the state cabinet presided over by chief minister Yogi Adityanath here, parliamentary affairs minister Suresh Khanna told newspersons. Prayagraj division will comprise Prayagraj, Kaushambi, Fatehpur and Pratapgarh districts, while Ayodhya division will include Ayodhya, Ambedkarnagar, Sultanpur, Amethi and Barabanki districts, Khanna said. The decision came a day after the Allahabad High Court asked the Centre and the state government to file counter affidavits within a week on a petition challenging the decision to rename Allahabad as Prayagraj. Justices Vikram Nath and Rajesh Singh Chauhan of the Lucknow bench fixed the next hearing on Monday.
The sudden spate in changing the names of key UP districts, towns and railway stations drew criticism from not only the opposition but the ruling NDA constituent Suheldev Bhartiya Samaj Party (SBSP) too. Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav blamed the chief minister for taking credit by just renaming cities. "Raja Harshvardhan made 'Prayag Kumbh' great by offering donations, but today's rulers are trying to take credit for the work just by renaming the city to 'Prayagraj'," the former chief minister tweeted earlier. "They (BJP) have even re-named 'Ardh Kumbh' as 'Kumbh'. This mocks our tradition and belief," he said. The Congress, too, had hit out at the ruling dispensation, with a party leader saying that changing the name of the historic city to 'Prayagraj' is an attempt to toy with the history of the nation. Uttar Pradesh minister and SBSP chief Om Prakash Rajbhar mocked the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) over the move and said the party should change names of its Muslim leaders before changing the names of different towns and places.
"The BJP changed the names of Mughalsarai and Faizabad. They say they were named after the Mughals. They have a national spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain, Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, Uttar Pradesh Minister Mohsin Raza - three Muslim faces of the BJP. They should change their names first." He said that the names of places were changed just to divert attention of the backward and oppressed people from the issues, which concern them.