The proposal might not even be on paper yet but Akbar Road became Maharana Pratap Road for a some time on Sunday evening.
Some road signages on Akbar Road were covered with small posters that had a photo of Maharana Pratap along with the name – Maharana Pratap Road. These were, however, removed on Monday.
Unlike previous such instances, there were no contact details or the organisation’s name that had put up the posters.
News reports said last week that a few BJP leaders want the road to be renamed. According to the reports, a formal proposal however was not moved.
The area comes under the New Delhi Municipal Council and houses, among other prominent residences and offices, the Congress party’s office.
BJP president Amit Shah’s and union road transport minister Nitin Gadkari’s official residences are on Akbar Road. One poster was pasted on a signage 20 metres from Gadkari’s residence.
According to NDMC officials, the act of pasting such posters is illegal. “It is an act of vandalism. NDMC staff has removed these. Without permission, this is an illegal act,” a senior official said.
Maharana Pratap, a 16th-century ruler of Mewar, is known for his fight against the Mughals, especially emperor Akbar.
In September 2015, the NDMC, amid protests, changed the name of Aurangzeb Road to APJ Abdul Kalam Road. The proposal was floated by BJP MP Mahesh Giri.
When the name of the Aurangzeb Road was changed, many people, especially historians, had spoken out against the decision. Conservation consultant and Indian National Trust of Art and Cultural Heritage founder member AGK Menon said the idea of changing names was a bad one.
“You can’t change history by changing names. It is very short-sighted thinking. Maharana Pratap was as important as Akbar and we are equally proud of both. This is not a good idea,” he said.