The Supreme Court on Monday sought a response from the Uttar Pradesh government on a PIL filed by Allahabad Heritage Society challenging the decision to change the rename the city of Allahabad to Prayagraj, reported PTI. A bench comprising Chief Justice SA Bobde and justices BR Gavai and Surya Kant issued notice to the state.
On 1 January, 2019, a fortnight ahead of the 'Kumbh Mela', the Centre had approved the renaming of Allahabad as Prayagraj as sought by the Uttar Pradesh government. In October 2018, the Yogi Adityanath-led government had officially renamed the historic city of Allahabad as Prayagraj. The decision was taken by the state cabinet, presided over by the chief minister.
Called Prayag before the Mughals came in, Allahabad got its name from 16th Century Mughal emperor Akbar who renamed it after founding a fort near the confluence of the Ganga and the Yamuna, known as Sangam. He named the fort and its neighbourhood Ilahabad. Later, Akbar's grandson Shah Jahan renamed the entire city as Allahabad. But the area near the Sangam, site of the Kumbh Mela, continues to be called Prayag. The governor and the Centre have both given their approval and the Uttar Pradesh government plans to roll out the changes ahead of 2019 Kumbh Mela.
Defending its move, the Uttar Pradesh government had said that the renaming was a "long-standing demand" of the people. In an official statement, the government said that there was a ‘delusion’ that the city was always called Allahabad.
The Congress had opposed the move then, claiming the name change would affect the history in which Allahabad has played a significant role since the days of Independence. Congress spokesperson Onkar Singh had said that the region where Kumbh is held is already called Prayagraj and if the government is so eager, they can make it a separate city, but the name of Allahabad should not be changed.
With inputs from PTI
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Updated Date: Jan 20, 2020 14:05:23 IST