Three days after the Yogi Adityanath Cabinet put its seal on the proposal to have Allahabad renamed Prayagraj, voices have started emanating from various quarters demanding that Faizabad and Ayodhya together be renamed Shri Ayodhya. The first demand in this regard came from Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) on Thursday.
Calling for restoring the original names of cities renamed by foreign invaders, VHP central advisory panel member Purushottam Narayan Singh said: "The state government has accorded due respect to seers, saints and various sections of society by renaming Allahabad as Prayagraj. It is a welcome move." He then proposed renaming Faizabad as Shri Ayodhya.
"This step would reflect that the state government really cared for people's sentiments," said VHP spokesperson Sharad Sharma.
The VHP's demand comes at a time when RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat has aired his views over the need to frame a law for construction of a Ram Temple at Ayodhya, and the Supreme Court is gearing up to start day-to-day hearing in the vexed Ramjanmabhoomi-Babri Masjid title suit from October 29, 2018.
Moreover, a major congregation of Hindus is on the cards during Kumbh Mela in Allahabad early next year, and before that the state government is set to hold a major cultural event in Ayodhya on Diwali eve, wherein the entire temple town will be illuminated with lamps in the presence of CM Yogi Adityanath and other dignitaries.
As per the sources, the VHP is expecting an announcement in this regard from the CM at the event as seers had raised the demand for the same at a meeting with him in June.
Soon after coming to power in UP with a huge mandate last year, the BJP government had granted the status of municipal corporation to Faizabad-Ayodhya. The BJP MLA from Faizabad, Ved Prakash Gupta, said that the people of Ayodhya and Faizabad had won half the battle by getting a municipal corporation. "Let's hope the state government goes a step ahead and renames the city," he said.