After Uttar Pradesh's Faizabad, it may be the turn of Ahmedabad in BJP-ruled Gujarat to undergo a change of name. And going by what Chief Minister Vijay Rupani has to say, the renaming may happen before the parliamentary elections next year.
Mr Rupani today said that the state government will take concrete steps to change the name of Ahmedabad to Karnavati after assessing "legal and all other angles".
"We are contemplating changing the name of Ahmedabad to Karnavati, the talks of which have been going on since a long time. Concrete steps will be taken after looking at it from legal and all other angles. We will think about it in the time to come," he told mediapersons in state capital Gandhinagar today.
His statement comes two days after Gujarat Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel said that his government will consider renaming Ahmedabad -- India's only city with the "World Heritage" tag -- as Karnavati if the BJP manages to get the people's support.
Mr Patel claimed that changing the name of the city was necessary because it was a reminder of the hardships its residents endured under past invaders. "The name (Ahmedabad) is a symbol of our slavery, while the name Karnavati represents our pride, our self-respect, our culture, our autonomy," he said. "We have launched the process of getting legal and other approvals like the nod of the Centre."
Mr Rupani's statement follows the renaming of Faizabad as Ayodhya by Uttar Pradesh's Yogi Adityanath government on Tuesday. Earlier, it had changed Allahabad's name to Prayagraj and renamed the Mughalsarai Railway Station as the Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay Junction.
Ahmedabad Mayor Bijal Patel said she will seek the government's "guidance" before tabling a resolution for renaming the city. "The demand for changing the city's name is certainly there. But we will take guidance from the state as well as the centre before bringing any such resolution in the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation," she added.
However, Gujarat Congress spokesperson Manish Doshi described the promise to rename Ahmedabad as just another "gimmick" in the run-up to the Lok Sabha elections. "The BJP believes issues like Ram temple and the renaming of Ahmedabad can help it get votes," he said.
Historically, the area around Ahmedabad has been inhabited since the 11th century, when it was known as Ashaval. Chaulukya ruler Karna of Anhilwara (modern Patan) had waged a successful war against the Bhil king of Ashaval and established a city called Karnavati on the banks of the Sabarmati river. Sultan Ahmed Shah in 1411 AD laid the foundation of a new walled city near Karnavati and named it Ahmedabad after the four saints in the area by the name Ahmed.
(With Inputs From ANI, PTI)