Congress objects to North MCD renaming ‘Gandhi Ashram Road’ in Narela
The Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee (DPCC) has objected to the North Delhi Municipal Corporation renaming a road in Narela from Gandhi Ashram Marg to Lala Jagannath Bansal Road after the name of the grandfather of a man who is close to the Bharatiya Janata Party.
The civic body renamed the road in a function attended by the north body mayor, Avtar Singh, and standing committee chairperson, Jai Prakash, on September 4. The civic body officials said Bansal was a freedom fighter.
Political leaders of the north corporation, however, say it was “not a case of renaming but naming, and went through the appropriate procedures with no red flags being raised by the opposition at that time”.
DPCC working president Rajesh Lilothia said on Monday, “Narela has a prominent place in the history of India’s freedom movement. Mahatma Gandhi visited this area twice in 1930 and 1935, and established an ashram which served as a hideout for the freedom fighters and a place for discussions on the Quit India movement. That is how the road came to be called ‘Gandhi Ashram Marg’ and it is mentioned as such in the old sign boards of the MCD and Aadhaar Cards of local residents.”
“We have handwritten letters by Gandhiji and freedom fighter Prabhu Dayal who stayed at the ashram. Now, the BJP-led north corporation has changed its name, showing total disdain towards the father of the nation,” Lilothia said.
The area councillor from BJP, Savita Khatri, however, said, “It was only informally called Gandhi Ashram Marg and never had a name as per official documents. Also, the proposal went through the road naming committee of the north corporation, which has members from the Opposition, as well as the House. Why wasn’t any objection raised at that time?”
Leader of Congress in the north corporation, Mukesh Goel, said, “We were never given complete information regarding the road which is why we couldn’t stop it while we could.”