SP, BSP spar over renaming park
The tussle between Bahujan Samaj Party and Samajwadi Party over ‘renaming’ of Ambedkar Eco Garden has intensified with the SP government claiming that there was no such park in any case in official records and the BSP threatening to move court.
Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav told reporters on Thursday that Ambedkar Eco Garden did not exist in official records and as such there was no question of changing its name.
Akhilesh Yadav had recently laid the foundation stone of a park in Lucknow in memory of SP leader Janeshwar Mishra. The BSP condemned the ‘renaming’ and decried the state government for what it alleged was showing disrespect to Dalit icons.
“As there is no such park in the records, where is the question of changing its name,” Akhilesh said. “Let the BSP prove that there indeed was such a park and we will accept their plea,” he added.
BSP leaders had held a dharna outside the park on Tuesday in protest against the alleged name change. It has threatened to approach the court on this issue. Party supremo Mayawati had also raised the matter in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday and her party members stalled proceedings of the House. Mayawati accused the SP government of being on a name changing spree after assuming power.
Only a few days back, the government had changed the names of eight districts besides restoring the name of the King George’s Medical College in the state capital.
In its tenure the Mayawati government had changed the original names of those eight districts, naming them after Dalit icons. The new SP regime had also recently changed the name of the ‘Ambedkar village development scheme’ and re-christened it as Lohia Gram Yojna, after the socialist ideologue Ram Manohar Lohia.
The former BSP government had started an award in the name of Kanshiram for work in the field of forest and environment conservation. Under the SP regime the award was renamed after Abdul Hamid. Kanshiram Urdu-Arabic University was also rechristened after the 12th century Sufi saint Khawaja Moinuddin Chishti.