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Akhilesh, NDA ally go lyrical to slam UP govt for renaming

twitter-logoPTI | November 14, 2018 | Updated 17:10 IST

(Eds: Updating with background) Lucknow, Nov 14 (PTI) SP president Akhilesh Yadav went lyrical Wednesday to slam the Adityanath government for renaming Uttar Pradesh cities, saying the developmental works in the state have come to a halt due to it. "Band pade hain saare kaam, bikhra pada sab samaan; tarakki ke ruke hain raste, badal rahe hain bus naam," (All works have stopped, materials lie scattered; paths of development stand blocked, only names are being changed)," tweeted Yadav, tagging a few photographs of some stalled works with his tweet. The former chief minister's lyrical criticism of the Adityanath regime's name-changing spree came on a day when it faced another "poetic" attack from its own minister, Om Prakash Rajbhar, the chief of ruling NDA constituent Suheldev Bhartiya Samaj Party (SBSP). "Diwali me Ali basey, Ram basey Ramzan, Aisa hona chahiye apna Hindustan," (India's ethos should be just like that of Diwali, which has Ali in it and Ramjan, which has Ram)," tweeted Rajbhar Wednesday, seeking to highlight the futility of changing names. Often dubbed as a "disgruntled" minister, Rajbhar said renaming cities negates India's "Ganga-Jamuni culture." "Indian civilisation is based on 'Ganja-Jaumni' culture. The condition of the country would have been different had the expenses incurred on name-changing venture been utilised for education, employment, health and welfare," he said. The government faced the criticism a day after it approved the renaming of Faizabad as Ayodhya and Allahabad as Prayagraj, in a Cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. Rajbhar had recently also taken a dig at the BJP over changing of names of cities, districts and railway stations, saying the saffron party should rather start with changing names of the prominent Muslim faces in the party. "The BJP changed names of Mughalsarai and Faizabad. They say they were named after the Mughals. They have 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 had said. He said the names of various places were changed just to distract the backward and oppressed people from raising their voice on the issues which affects them. "This is all a drama to distract the backward and oppressed people whenever they raise their voices for their rights. No one else has given the country what Muslims have given it. Should we throw away the GT Road? Who built the Red Fort? Who built the Taj Mahal?" he had asked. Earlier, the government had renamed Mughalsarai Railway Station, another historic place, as Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Junction. The decision to rename Faizabad and Allahabad divisions as Ayodhya and Prayagraj respectively came a day after the Allahabad High Court sought the stands of the Centre and the state on a lawsuit challenging the decision to rename Allahabad as Prayagraj. Justices Vikram Nath and Rajesh Singh Chauhan of the Lucknow bench Monday sought the government's stand within a week and slated the matter to hear again on Monday. Earlier too, the Samajwadi Party chief has accused the the chief minister of taking credit for 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 had tweeted earlier. "They (BJP) have even re-named 'Ardh Kumbh' as 'Kumbh'. This mocks at 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. In August this year, the UP government had sent a request to the Centre to rename the airports in Agra, Bareilly and Kanpur. According to reports, the proposal is to rename the Agra airport after Jan Sangh founder Deen Dayal Upadhyay. The ruling BJP has, however, justified the name changes across Uttar Pradesh, saying they are merely restoring the older names and correcting historical distortions. Allahabad's ancient name was 'Prayag', but was changed after 16th-century Mughal emperor Akbar built a fort near 'Sangam', the holy confluence of the Ganga, Yamuna and the mythological Saraswati. PTI ABN SMI RAX RAX

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