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Indian govt changes name of historic Allahabad city

UTTER PRADESH: In what is being seen as an attack to historical and cultural values of the subcontinent, the government of UP has renamed the historic city of Allahabad to Prayagraj after the Cabinet approved proposal in this regard.

The Uttar Pradesh cabinet earlier approved a proposal to rename Allahabad as ‘Prayagraj’ amid protests by the opposition parties, reported the Economic Times. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath presided over the cabinet meeting that cleared the proposal for renaming of Allahabad.

Briefing media persons about the state cabinet’s decisions, UP minister for medical and health and government spokesman Sidharth Nath Singh said, “Allahabad will be known as Prayagraj from today. We will take this process ahead and write to the central institutions to change their names. These institutions include Allahabad University, Allahabad high court and Allahabad railway station.”

“A number of saints raised the demand for renaming of Allahabad. Governor Ram Naik and chief justice of the Allahabad high court justice DB Bhosale had also attended the Kumbh Mela Marg Darshak Mandal meeting,” he said.

“Allahabad was known as Prayagraj about 500 years ago. We are restoring its name now,” claimed Singh.

Replying to a question, Singh said Allahabad was the most important of 14 Prayags in India.

Meanwhile, the Yogi government’s move triggered a fresh round of politics with the opposition parties taking strong exception to the decision.

“During Gandhi-era and fight for independence, Allahabad has been a centre for inspiration. In 1888, 1892 and then in 1910, Congress Mahaadhiveshans took place here, which gave shape to the freedom movement. The city gave the country its first Prime Minister,” Congress had said.

Hours after the decision, Samajwadi Party (SP) president Akhilesh Yadav expressed his opposition, saying, “BJP must learn to differentiate between ‘naam aur kaam (name and work)’. When will BJP end the politics of name change? It is already over a year-and-a-half, when will the BJP government in the state will begin working? When will development become part of politics? BJP must reply all these questions. People won’t benefit by the daily talks about cow-dung or brooms. BJP’s government has exhausted four-and-a-half years at the Centre and one-and-a-half year in UP. BJP is the failed political party.”

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