New Delhi: Days after Allahabad and Faizabad were rechristened as Prayagraj and Ayodhya, respectively, by the Yogi Adityanath-led Uttar Pradesh government, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) lawmaker Jagan Prasad Garg has demanded the renaming of Agra as either Agravan or Agraval. Also Read - No Written Permission Required For Weddings, UP Govt Issues Fresh Guidelines
Claiming that Agra has no meaning, Garg, who represents Agra North constituency in the state, said, “You check the name Agra anywhere, what relevance does it have? Earlier there used to be a lot of forests here. And people from the Agarwal community used to live here. So the name should be Agra-van or Agra-wal.” Also Read - Uttar Pradesh Cabinet Clears Ordinance Against 'Love jihad', to Check Forced Religious Conversion
Garg’s demand came hours after BJP lawmaker in Uttar Pradesh Sangeet Som claimed that the state government will soon be changing names of many other cities in the state after Allahabad was named Prayagraj and Faizabad, Ayodhya. He also claimed that the demand has come from the public. Also Read - Good News! More Girls Are Now Being Adopted by Foreign Couples, UP Govt Credits 'Mission Shakti' Programme
“BJP is just trying to bring back the culture of India, which was deliberately changed by the Muslim rulers to end Hindutva. Therefore BJP is working just to safeguard and retain the Indian culture back by renaming the cities with their original names (sic),” Som was quoted as saying by news agency ANI. “The names of many cities are yet to be changed,” he added.
A few days before, Gujarat Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel had hinted at the state government’s keenness to rename Ahmedabad as Karnavati “if it receives the required support and there were no legal hurdles”.
When Patel was asked if the Gujarat government has plans to change the name of the only city which has a “World Heritage” tag, he said, “People are still having a feeling that Ahmedabad should be renamed as Karnavati. If we get the required support to overcome the legal hurdles, we are always ready to change the name of the city.”
The BJP governments decisions to rename cities have been slammed by various opposition parties. On the Gujarat government mulling to rechristen Ahmedabad as Karnavati, the Congress state unit leader said that it was one of the jumlas of the saffron party to gather votes before the elections.
“For the BJP, issues like construction of a Ram temple in Ayodhya and renaming Ahmedabad as Karnavati are the means to get votes of Hindus,” said state unit Congress spokesperson Manish Doshi. Alleging that the ruling party has only cheated Hindus all these years only to come to power, he said, “BJP leaders dump such issues after coming to power. They only cheated Hindus all these years.”