New Delhi: Lutyens Delhi's iconic Race Course road, where the Prime Minister's residence is located, will now be known as Lok Kalyan Marg. A decision to this effect was taken at a high-level meeting of the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) presided by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. A notification will be issued soon to complete the process of renaming the road.
The NDMC has also decided to rename the Gurudwara Rakabganj round-about adjacent to the Parliament complex as Guru Gobind Singh Chowk following representations from various Sikh organisations. BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi, who is a member of the NDMC Council, had proposed renaming Race Course Road as Ekatma Marg based on the philosophy of the party's ideologue Deendayal Upadhyay but it was not accepted.
In the meeting, Kejriwal proposed to rename the Race Course Road after Guru Gobind Singh, the 10th Sikh Guru, but some members were not convinced. "I had proposed renaming of the road after Guru Govind Singh while Lekhi said it should be renamed as Ekatma Marg. I suggested that the PM should be consulted on this but the Council members decided that on the basis of suggestions received from public, the road should be renamed as Lok Kalyan Marg," Kejriwal said.
Once the notification is issued, the PM's famous residential address 7 Race Course road will be known as 7 Lok Kalyan marg.
AAP MLA Surinder Singh, also member of the Council, opposed Lekhi's proposal to rename the road as Ekatma Marg.
NDMC chairperson Naresh Kumar said it was a unanimous decision to change the name of the road as Lok Kalyan Marg. The change of name of Gurudwara Rakabganj round-about to Guru Gobind Singh Chowk is seen as an effort to woo the Sikh community by both BJP and AAP ahead of the Punjab Assembly polls early next year.
Last year, the Aurangzeb Road, which is also not far from the Race Course road, was renamed after former president APJ Abdul Kalam. A number of historians had criticised the decision.