LUCKNOW: Criticising his own government for almost every decision, Yogi Adityanath's cabinet minister and Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party (SBSP) chief Om Prakash Rajbhar have fired a fresh salvo at the state government over the renaming of state cities.
Rajbhar going critical of the decision, suggested the BJP first to change names of its Muslim leaders, including Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain before changing names of more cities on the pretext of restoring the glory of ancient India which existed before the Mughal rule.
Speaking to a news agency, Rajbhar claimed it to be a drama of the ruling party to digress from real issues and woo voters with non-issues ahead of 2019 Lok Sabha elections. He rejected the logic of name changing.
"They changed the names of Mughalsarai and Faizabad. They say they were named after the Mughals. They have a national spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain, Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, UP Minister Mohsin Raza - three Muslim faces of BJP, change their names first," said Rajbhar while venting his ire over the decision to change the name of the cities.
Notably, Yogi government has, recently, passed orders to change the name of Allahabad to Prayagraj and Faizabad to Ayodhya. The state government has also renamed Mughalsaria railway station as Pandit Deen Dayal Railway Station and Ikana international Sports Stadium as Bharat Ratna Atal Bihari Vajpayee International Sports Stadium.
Slamming the BJP government in the state, Rajbhar said: "This is a ploy to distract the backward & oppressed sections of the society and silence them whenever they raise their voices to demand their rights. No one else has given the things which Muslims gave. Should we throw away GT Road? Who built the Red Fort? Who built the Taj Mahal?"
However, following the state government's inclination towards changing names has prompted BJP leaders in other regions and states to raise similar demands with respect to several other cities as well. Now the BJP leaders want Ahmedabad in Gujarat to be renamed as Karnavati. Sangeet Som, party MLA from Sardhana in Meerut district of western UP has demanded Muzaffarnagar be renamed as Laxminagar.