Lucknow, October 20: The Uttar Pradesh government has officially renamed the historic town of Allahabad as 'Prayagraj'. The move comes nearly a week after Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath announced the name-change at an official event at then-called Allahabad. The State Cabinet had passed a resolution to bring the name-change into effect earlier in the week.
An official notification, directing all government departments and institutions to rename and refer to Allahabad as Prayagraj in its records, was issued on Saturday, announced district magistrate Suhas L Y. Allahabad Becomes Prayagraj: Know the History Behind the Name.
Uttar Pradesh Governor Ram Naik gave his assent to the UP Cabinet's decision, making the order to come into force with immediate effect, the DM added. However, the notification will not have any bearing on cases already in the courts, according to a release from the magistrate's office.
"The BJP government has rectified the mistake made by Akbar," BJP spokesperson and State Cabinet Minister Srikant Sharma had said, while defending the move.
The Opposition, however, has accused Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath of deflecting attention from "his failures" by raising "trivial issues". "Will changing the name of Allahabad ensure jobs to its residents," asked former UP CM and Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav.
Congress leader Onkar Singh called it a ploy by the ruling BJP to mislead voters on a communal plank ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Singh pointed out that the region in Allahabad where the Kumbh Mela is held is already called Prayagraj. "If the government wanted, they should had accorded it a separate city status. What's the point in changing the name of Allahabad," he questioned.