New Delhi: Patidar leader Hardik Patel has spoken out against the recent name-changing spree of the BJP government in Uttar Pradesh which led to the demands for the renaming of several cities across the country. He said, “Agar iss desh mein sirf shehron ke naam badalne se desh ko sone ki chidiya bana sakte toh main maanta hun ki 125 crore Hindustaniyon ka naam Ram rakh dena chahiye. Iss desh mein berozgari, kisanon ka prashn bada hai aur yeh naam aur murtiyon ke chakkar mein hain (In this country, if changing the names of cities could restore its glory, then I think all 125 crore Indians should be renamed Ram. The country is plagued with unemployment and farmers’ issues but they (the government) is busy with renaming cities and erecting idols).” Also Read - Why Target My Husband, Hardik Patel's Wife Kinjal Asks as Hardik Goes Missing

Patel has been lying low since his indefinite hunger strike was ended after 19 days. In August-September, Patel went on an indefinite hunger strike over an array of demands. His demands included farm loan waiver and reservation for the Patidar community under OBC category in government jobs and education sector. Also Read - Gujarat: Hardik Patel Untraceable Since January 18, Claims His Wife

The Uttar Pradesh government has renamed Allahabad as Prayagraj and then Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath announced that Faizabad would also be called Ayodhya. That led to demands from across the nation for a change in name for Agra, Lucknow, Pune, and Hyderabad. Also Read - Hardik Patel Arrest: 'For BJP, Helping Youths And Farmers is Sedition,' Says Priyanka Gandhi

BJP leader Sangeet Som said Muzaffarnagar should be renamed Laxminagar. Som, a key accused in Muzaffarnagar riots case, claimed that the city was already known as Laxminagar but Mughals changed it.

Earlier right-wing group Bajrang Dal had held multiple meetings in rural areas to generate public awareness regarding the same. “The region was called Laxminagar some 2000 years ago. We have been making efforts for the name change for many years,” Bajrang Dal’s district Ankur Rana told a portal.

The Shiv Sena has demanded a change in the name of Aurangabad and Osmanabad in Maharashtra to Sambhaji Nagar and Dharashiv, respectively. “The demand for the renaming of Aurangabad and Osmanabad into Sambaji Nagar and Dharashiv is not new to Shiv Sena. It has been our long-standing demand,” Shiv Sena leader Manisha Kayande told ANI.