THE UNION Home Ministry is pushing the Uttar Pradesh government to rename a railway station near Mathura after Jan Sangh icon and RSS ideologue Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya. But with Assembly elections around the corner, it has met with little success so far.
Home Ministry officials told The Indian Express that the SP government has shown no urgency and put on hold its proposal to rename Farah Town station as Deendayal Dham. “We have asked the state to give its comments after vetting the proposal,” said a senior official.
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The station is currently named after a small town near Mathura that traces its origins to the Mughal era and finds mention in the 1857 uprising, according to historians. Officials said the government is keen to rename the station as it is close to Upadhyaya’s ancestral village, Nagla Chandrabhan, in Mathura where he was born in 1916.
In September this year, the BJP launched a year-long birthday centenary celebration in memory of Upadhyaya. Last year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited the village to mark the first anniversary of the NDA government after the house in which Upadhyaya stayed was renovated. The central government has also undertaken several projects to revive the legacy of Upadhyaya, who died in 1968.
Under government guidelines for renaming railway stations, villages, towns and cities, the Union Home Ministry gives a no-objection certificate (NOC) to proposals received from state governments.
In this case, however, the Ministry wrote to UP Chief Secretary Rahul Bhatnagar, who took charge in September, on the station proposal and sent its recommendation to the state government based on a memorandum submitted by the Mathura-based Deendayal Upadhyaya Samiti. Bhatnagar was not available for comment.
Naveen Mittal, a general secretary of the Samiti, said, “I met Home Minister Rajnath Singh after which the manifesto to rename Farah Town was sent by the Ministry to the UP government.” Mittal said that the Samiti will also approach BJP MPs, Hema Malini from Mathura and Union Minister of State (HRD) Ram Shankar Katheria from Agra, to put pressure on the state government.
The Samiti, meanwhile, plans to take up another proposal — this time, with the railways ministry — to make important trains like the Shatabdi and Rajdhani halt at the station so that more people can visit Upadhyaya’s village.