Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.
The Supreme Court on Monday issued a notice to the Uttar Pradesh government on a plea challenging the name change of Allahabad to Prayagraj.
A bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and justices B R Gavai and Surya Kant issued the notice following a plea by the Allahabad Heritage Society.
In 2018, months ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, the state government had officially changed the name of the Allahabad district to Prayagraj and said that other institutes named after the district would soon follow suit.
The decision was taken at a Cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. Government spokesperson and Cabinet minister Sidhartha Nath Singh had said that the name change was a longstanding demand of the people.
An official statement release by the government had said, “The board researched documents and found that the there were 14 Prayags in the country but only the one here, also known as King of all Prayags (hence, Prayagraj) was changed to Allahabad.” “There was a delusion that the place was always called Allahabad and so the revenue board suggested that in order to correct this delusion, it would be reasonably legal to change the name to the original name.”
Indicating the possible change of name of Allahabad University as well as Allahabad High Court, Singh said, “There are some central institutes, organisations named after Allahabad… There is the high court, railway station… letters would be sent to them for the same and to take the process forward.”
The opposition parties, however, criticised the government’s move to change the name of Allahabad. Earlier, the Congress said the move would be akin to changing history. Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav had tweeted that the BJP government only wanted to show that they were working by renaming Allahabad. UP Congress chief Raj Babbar said that the BJP should have shown the same eagerness in ensuring cleanliness of Ganga.