Madhya Pradesh government's efforts to rename the state capital as Bhojpal yet again suffered a setback after the Bhopal Municipal Corporation (BMC) General Council turned down the proposal citing constitutional provisions and merger agreement with the Central government.
However, Madhya Pradesh minister for urban administration and development, Babulal Gaur told PTI on Friday, "the decision to rename Bhopal as Bhojpal was taken by the state government and now it will send the proposal to Centre for approval along with the opinion of the local body."
"The opinion of the local body matters, but since the state government took a decision on the issue, the proposal will be sent to the Centre for its approval as it is only empowered to change the name of any city or place," Gaur said.
While turning down the proposal yesterday, Congress members highlighted that as per the merger agreement of Bhopal with the Indian Government and the constitutional provisions, the name of the city cannot be changed.
BJP countered the argument by highlighting that there is a mention the Gazette that Raja Bhoj constructed Bhojtal famously known as Upper Lake (Bada Talab).
Secondly, former prime minister Indira Gandhi had cancelled the provisions of compulsions outlined in this agreement, BJP said adding the Opposition is misleading the people by taking the name of merger agreement.
The Congress said that in the municipal corporation limits, no sign of Raja Bhoj's rule in the city existed, though the famous Bhojpur temple does exists in Bhojpur village.
BJP leaders said that in the important documents and books many things were mentioned about the rich contribution made by Raja Bhoj for Bhopal and he only gave the most important gift of 'Bada Talaab' to the people of Bhopal quenching their thirst.
The most interesting objection raised by the Congress during the debate was that at present the shortform of Bhopal is BPL, but if the name is changed to the Bhojpal, then it will become BJP, and that is why the ruling party is after it as it will gain politically.
The Congress also said that in the entire world, the city is known as Bhopal and even on internet surveys people belonging to all age groups, religion and caste have opposed the move to change the name of Bhopal to Bhojpal.
This is for the second time that the proposal to change the name of Bhopal to Bhojpal was rejected by the General Council.
Madhya Pradesh chief minister while proposing to change the name of Bhopal to Bhojpal on the occasion of the 1000th anniversary of the coronation of Raja Bhoj highlighted that when the name of Bombay could be changed to Mumbai, Bangalore to Bengalur, Calcutta to Kolkatta, then why can’t the state capital name be not changed to Bhojpal.
The state government has also installed a full-size statue of Raja Bhoj in the Upper Lake so that generations remained aware of his historic contribution to the city.