- Yogi Adityanath has justified renaming cities in Uttar Pradesh
- A BJP lawmaker has demanded that Agra be renamed as Agarwal or Agravan
- BJP's ally in Uttar Pradesh OP Rajbhar called renaming spree a "drama"
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has indicated that the state government is likely to keep up with its spree of renaming places across the state. "We did what we felt was good. We renamed Mughal Sarai as Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhayay Nagar, Allahabad as Prayagraj and Faizabad as Ayodhya. Where there is a need, the government will take the steps required," Yogi Adityanath said.
After the names of Faizabad and Allahabad were changed, new demands for renaming other cities have come up from within the ruling BJP. On Friday, Agra North lawmaker Jagan Prasad Garg said that Agra should be renamed as Agravan or Agarwal, while controversial legislator from Sardhana Sangeet Som wants the name of Muzaffarnagar to be changed to Laxmi Nagar.
However, BJP's allies aren't impressed with the Uttar Pradesh government's renaming spree.
Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party (SBSP) chief and Uttar Pradesh minister Om Prakash Rajbhar said today that these decisions are being taken only to divert attention from the needs of oppressed sections of society. He also asked the party to first change the names of its own Muslim leaders.
"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. They should change their names first," Mr Rajbhar said.
"This is all a drama to distract backward and oppressed people whenever they raise their voices for their rights. No one else has given the things which Muslims have given. Should we throw away the GT Road? Who built the Red Fort? Who built the Taj Mahal," he asked.
Shiv Sena, the BJP's ally in Maharashtra, said that renaming cities in Uttar Pradesh was nothing but a "lollipop" to woo voters ahead of the Lok Sabha elections next year.
"The BJP promised a Ram Temple but all it has given is a new name to Faizabad and a (proposed) statue. This is a lollipop given by the BJP in view of the upcoming general elections," the party said in the editorial in its mouthpiece Saamna.