Allahabad will now be known as Prayagraj

The 'sangam' (confluence of Ganga, Yamuna and the mythical Sarswati rivers) town of Allahabad would now be known as 'Prayagraj'.

The Uttar Pradesh Cabinet on Tuesday gave its approval to the rechristening of Allahabad as 'Prayagraj' at its meeting here fulfilling a long standing demand from the Hindu seers and saints.

Mughal emperor Akbar had established Allahabad in 1583, according to the historians. The place was known as 'Prayag' in the Hindu religious scriptures. 

Hindu seers and saints had been demanding rechristening of Allahabad for a long time. The state government had earlier assured them that it would change the name before the forthcoming 'Ardhakumbh' (a six yearly religious congregation on the banks of sangam).

While the BJP leaders and the religious community hailed the rechristening, the opposition parties termed it as a ''desperate tactic'' by the saffron party to ''divert attention'' of the people from its ''failures''.

''We have restored the ancient glory of the temple town.....a wrong that had been committed centuries ago had now been corrected,'' said BJP leader Vijay Bahadur Pathak.

''No development will come simply by changing the names....the BJP government would not have had to change the name if it had done something for the people.....it is an attempt to divert the attention of the people from the government's failures,'' said Samajwadi Party (SP) leader Sunil Singh here.

Congress leader Akhilesh Pratap Singh also echoed similar sentiments and said that the BJP government had nothing to show to the people.

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