LMC’s decision to rename city crossings sparks controversy
That’s because some crossings like the one at Burlington have been renamed after ex-Vishva Hindu Parishad president Ashok Singhal, who played a key role in Ayodhya temple movement
The Lucknow Municipal Corporation (LMC) executive committee’s decision to rename some old city crossings is being viewed by some as part of BJP’s strategy ahead of civic polls that are expected in December or January.
That’s because some crossings like the one at Burlington have been renamed after ex-Vishva Hindu Parishad president Ashok Singhal, who played a key role in Ayodhya temple movement.
At other places, like in Sarvodaya Nagar, a gate has been named as ‘Swatantraveer Vinayak Damodar Savarkar Dwar.’
Leader of the opposition in the LMC house Sayyed Yawar Hussain Reshu said, “Gate in the name of Savarkar is unfortunate. We don’t approve of him as a freedom fighter. Most of the renaming is political and done with forthcoming civic elections in mind. There must be some guidelines for renaming city crossings, gates, roads.”
UP state Congress committee spokesman Ashok Singh said, “How can anyone accept Savarkar as a freedom fighter? What has he done for this city? The BJP is trying to divide society again for the sake of votes.”
The BJP dominated LMC executive also renamed Tikonia Park at Nirala Nagar after BJP ideologue Shyama Prasad Mukherjee.
Mayor Sanyukta Bhatia said, “The executive committee has passed the names of these crossings with a voice vote and there is nothing political about it. We don’t need a certificate from anyone about credentials of Veer Savarkar or Shyama Prasad Mukherjee.” Interestingly, a proposal was passed to develop the green belt next to Madari Kheda in the name of late Satish Bhatia, former MLA and mayor’s husband.
The road from Mohan Bhog crossing to Kothari Bandhu park has been named ‘Kalyaneswar Hanuman Mandir Marg’ while Azad Nagar Colony park at Sarojininagar has been named after Mangal Pandey.
Sanjay Gandhi Puram crossing has been renamed as Chandrashekhar Azad crossing while Ram Bhawan crossing at Viram Khand has been named after late Major Kamal Kalia.
The LMC executive also renamed Sikandarbagh crossing after Veerangana Udadevi and the trisection near the statue of Maharaja Suheldev Rajbhar located in Lalbagh has been named after Suheldev Rajbhar.
The mini stadium at Rajajipuram has been named after former MLA Suresh Srivastava.
Eyeing Sikh votes the Tehripulia crossing of Alambagh was renamed as Khalsa Chowk while LDA colony park was named Guru Nanak Park. The park located in front of MMD/253 LDA colony has been renamed as Dashmesh Park and one at Ashiana colony named after Sardar Udham Singh.
Another park in front of the Awaas Seva Sadan Purana Qila was named after former MLA late Manager Singh.
One city crossing at Meena Bakery has been after Maulana Mirza Mohammad Athar, founder and former chairman of Indian Shia Personal Law Board.
Girish Mishra Congress corporator in LMC house said, “It’s unfortunate that places, crossings, parks and gates are named after those who apologized to the Britishers and had contributed nothing to the society. Just because they have majority in the house, they are renaming everything on the names of people of their ideology.”
Dr Ashutosh Varma, spokesperson of Samajwadi Party said, “Renaming cities, crossings and gates is all that BJP has done during its regime. People understand their tricks now and are going to punish them in the coming civic elections.”