Uttar Pradesh minister Siddharth Nath Singh has officially announced that Allahabad will be called Prayagraj after he attended an Uttar Pradesh cabinet meeting in which the plan was finalized. This news came days after Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had announced that one of the oldest cities of the nation, Allahabad will be called Prayagraj in accordance with the “wishes of the people”.
In a statement to the reporters, Siddharth Nath Singh said “The renaming of Allahabad as Prayagraj before Kumbh came for approval in the meeting and I am happy to say Allahabad will now be known as Prayagraj,”
Yogi Adityanath was known to be keen on getting the city renamed before the start of “Kumbh Mela”, probably the biggest spiritual gathering that draws thousands of people to the holy city of Allahabad where Ganga and Yamuna meet along with the mythical river Saraswati.
“The people of Allahabad, the sages and seers wanted that Allahabad should be known as Prayagraj. Two days back, when the chief minister had chaired a meeting pertaining to Kumbh there, he had himself mooted that Allahabad should be called Prayagraj. All the sages and seers had given their unanimous approval,” Siddharth Nath Singh had added.
This was not the first name change that has happened in the past few days, before the announcement that Allahabad will be called Prayagraj; the Yogi government had also renamed Mughalsarai station to Deen Dayal Upadhyaya junction.
The BJP government has been accused of practising “bhagwakaran” after the names of historic places were change. The BJP ministers have however, defended the decision that Allahabad will be called Prayagraj by quoting ancient texts like Ramayana and Mahabharata where the name Prayag or Prayagraj appears proving that the name predates modern India.
The city was named Allahabad by the Mughal Emperor Akbar and has been at the centre of freedom struggles against the Britishers. This ancient city is close to the heart of Indians o say the least.
While critics point out that this is a controversial move made merely to distract people from the fact that no real ground work has been achieved, Yogi stands firm on the fact that he is just doing is duty by honouring the wishes of the people.