Chandigarh, June 2: In a bid to avoid confusion, the Bharatiya Janata Party government in Haryana has changed the name of Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) because of similarity of its name with that of senior Congress leader and former chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda. The authority was called Haryana Shahari Vikas Pradhikaran in Hindi and Haryana Urban Development Authority in English. The government has now decided to call it Haryana Sahari Vikash Pradhikaran in both the languages.

The decision was taken in a meeting chaired by Chief Minister Manohar Lak Khattar on Thursday, the Indian Express reported. After the meeting, Health Minister Anil Vij said, “Similarities in the names of Hooda and HUDA used to create a lot of confusion. It is was difficult to differentiate between the two names. That’s why we changed the name.”

He said, “People say Hooda will be jailed. But only those who are aware of the case can understand what it means (Hooda or HUDA),” Vij said.

Hitting out at the BJP government over changing the name of HUDA, Congress leader Ran Singh Mann said, “The BJP government is worried because of increasing popularity of Bhupinder Singh Hooda. They can change name of HUDA, but they won’t be able to remove the name of Hooda from the hearts of the masses.”

HUDA is a well known name in urban areas of Haryana, including Gurugram and Faridabad, because of residential plots offered by it to various sections of the society. Before the creation of HUDA, the Urban Estates Department, established in 1962, used to work on planned development of urban areas. HUDA came into existence on January 13, 1977, under an Act.

Last month, the Haryana government had decided to rename numerous sports stadiums across the state named after former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi.

Last year, Gurgaon was renamed as Gurugram and Mewat as Nuh.