By Elton Gomes
As a tribute to the late prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) has proposed that the city’s Ramlila Maidan be renamed after the former prime minister.
Vajpayee passed away on August 16 at the age of 93 after being under the medical care of a team of doctors at AIIMS. His death saw an outpouring of grief with messages of condolences from across India and from the international community as well.
Delhi’s Ramlila Maidan has hosted several political rallies, meetings, festivals, entertainment events. As a powerful orator, Vajpayee managed to draw huge crowds every time he visited Ramlila Maidan.
According to media reports, some BJP councillors have presented the proposal for renaming the ground. Besides a proposal for renaming Ramlila Maidan, BJP councillors also advocated changing the name of Hindu Rao Hospital. A final decision in this regard will be taken after a meeting of the municipal corporation is held.
Aadesh Gupta, NDMC’s mayor, estimated that the process of renaming Ramila Maidan and Hindu Rao Hospital after Vajpayee is likely to be completed by December 25, the birthdate of Vajpayee. Gupta added that the civic body is compiling a list of institutions to be named after Vajpayee.
The proposal, which was reportedly tabled in the BJP-ruled Municipal Corporation of Delhi, did not augur well with Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. “Changing names of Ram Leela Maidan etc will not get votes to the BJP,” Kejriwal said, adding, “BJP should change the name of prime minister, then they might get some vote… because people will not vote in the name of current prime minister,” Kejriwal said on Twitter, Financial Express reported.
Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwary also denied reports of renaming Ramlila Maidan. “The ground is named after Maryada Pursottam Ram, there is no question changing its name,” Tiwary said, as per the Financial Express report. Senior Delhi BJP leader Vijendra Gupta supported Tiwary’s statement and said that no such proposal has been made.
Jharkhand pays tribute
The BJP government in Jharkhand has decided to rename several institutes in the state after Vajpayee. Chaired by Chief Minister Raghubar Das, the Jharkhand cabinet met on Friday and decided to rename the ‘Jharkhand Innovation Lab’ as Atal Innovation Lab.
An official statement said that the under-construction Convention Centre at Ranchi would be renamed as Atal Convention Centre. It has also been decided that Professional College Jamshedpur, which is under the aegis of Higher Technical Education & Skill Department, will be renamed as Atal Bihari Vajpayee Professional College, Jamshedpur. Additionally, Chikisha Mahavidyalaya, Palamau, has been renamed as Atal Bihari Vajpayee Chikisha Mahavidyalaya, Palamau.
Naya Raipur to be renamed Atal Nagar
Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh announced that the smart city of Naya Raipur will be renamed Atal Nagar in honour of Vajpayee. Singh further said that along with renaming Naya Raipur, the Bilaspur University, a medical college, state capital expressway, and the under-construction Central Park will be named after Vajpayee.
Memorials and statues
The Madhya Pradesh government has decided to build two memorials in Gwalior and Bhopal and include a biography on Vajpayee in the school curriculum from next year, in an attempt to preserve Vajpayee’s memory. The Shivraj Singh Chouhan government has agreed to rename the Global Skill Park after Vajpayee.
Himachal Pradesh has approved a proposal to erect Vajpayee’s statue at Shimla’s historic Ridge. It also sent a proposal to the Centre to name upcoming Rohtang Tunnel after the late prime minister.
The Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) announced that its School of Management and Entrepreneurship will be renamed to Atal Bihari Vajpayee School of Management and Entrepreneurship.
“The Executive Council (EC) took a few important decisions including the renaming of its newest School of Management and Entrepreneurship. The EC paid its full tribute to the former PM and proposed to name the school as ‘Atal Bihari Vajpayee School of Management and Entrepreneurship’,” Pramod Kumar the JNU Registrar, said, the Hindu reported.
Elton Gomes is a staff writer at Qrius
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