Gujarat Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel. (Express Archive)
As BJP rivals reacted sharply to the UP Chief Minister’s announcement that Faizabad district will henceforth be called Ayodhya district, the party’s government in Gujarat, while praising Yogi Adityanath for the step, said it was ready to change the name of Ahmedabad to Karnavati if it gets enough support to overcome legal hurdles in the way.
UP Congress Legislature Party leader Ajay Kumar Lallu said that instead of focusing on development, the UP government was busy changing names. “These people are miles away from development. All we can say is that they do not desire development. They are playing with the feelings of people by changing names. They are not focusing on basic issues. In a place like UP which is now a hub of crime, they are busy changing names,” he said.
SP spokesperson Rajendra Chaudhary said: “They have confused changing names for work. Yesterday, they changed the name of the Ekana stadium in Lucknow and today, this. In a democracy, the government should not misuse its power, but this is exactly what the BJP is doing. The law and order situation in UP is at its worst, but they are busy changing names.”
According to PTI, CPI general secretary S Sudhakar Reddy said: “This is the BJP government’s ploy to cover up its failure in governance. At the same time, the name change also reflects its anti-Muslim feelings. First it changed the name of Allahabad to Prayag Raj and now their move is to change the name of Faizabad because they think these are Muslim names.”
The AAP called the UP government’s decision “Tughlaqi” (autocratic) and said it should have taken the opinion of people. Senior AAP leader Sanjay Singh said: “The opinion of the locals residents of a place should be taken before changing its name. India is a democratic country. It’s a Tughlaqi decision.”
In Gandhinagar, Gujarat Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel congratulated the UP government for changing the name of Faizabad district to Ayodhya district. Responding to a reporter’s query on the demand for changing the name of Ahmedabad to Karnavati, he said: “People’s feelings are there, and were there earlier also, to change the name to Karnavati. We are always ready to do that if we get enough support to overcome legal hurdles. Karnavati has been in use in numerous ways and people are used to it. People of Gujarat and people of Amdavad like the name. So, it can always be considered.”