After names of several places were changed in Uttar Pradesh, a similar trend is gathering pace in neighbouring Madhya Pradesh, with both the ruling BJP and the opposition Congress taking up the cause.
While leaders of the BJP are pressing for changing the names of some places in Bhopal and Indore, the Congress is seeking the name of Indore itself be changed.
With local body elections in the state fast approaching, both the parties are looking for issues to champion, and various options are being explored.
Speaker Pro-Tem Rameshwar Sharma has pitched for naming the Eidgah Hills in Bhopal as Guru Nanak Tekri, while seeking Hoshangabad be renamed Narmadapuram.
He claimed that around 500 years back, Guru Nanak came to the place known as Eidgah Hills and hence it should it be named after the founder of the Sikh religion, while his rationale for changing Hoshangabad’s name is that it was named after Hoshang Shah Ghori, and hence it should be named after the Narmada river.
Indore MP Shankar Lalwani, meanwhile, wants the name of the city’s Khajrana locality to be changed, as he claims that the original names of many places were changed. He says that since the area has a famous Ganesh temple, it should be known due to this and suggested the names of Ganesh Colony or Ganesh Nagar.
The Congress has also jumped into the fray. Its state unit Secretary Vivek Khandelwal has written to Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan seeking that Indore be renamed after Ahalyabai Holkar. He also announced he was launching a campaign for this.
Khandelwal’s reason was that since the world knows of Indore through this redoubtable woman ruler of the Holkar dynasty, the city should bear her name.
Political analysts believe that the renaming demands being floated by both parties are a bid to generate a new debate. The real motive between making these demands is to garner the support of a specific section, they said, adding that renaming places will have no effect on the common man, but will only keep those making the demands in the limelight.