The BJP government in Haryana has changed the name of Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) because of the similarity of its name with that of former CM Bhupinder Singh Hooda, a senior Congress leader. The authority was called Haryana Shahari Vikas Pradhikaran in Hindi and Haryana Urban Development Authority in English. Now the government has decided to call it Haryana Sahari Vikash Pradhikaran in Hindi as well as English.
The state Cabinet, in a meeting chaired by CM Manohar Lal Khattar, took the decision on Thursday. After the meeting, Health Minister Anil Vij said, “Similarities in the names of Hooda and HUDA used to create a lot of confusion. It is was difficult to differentiate between the two names. That’s why we changed the name.” He added, “People say Hooda will be jailed. But only those who are aware of the case can understand what it means (Hooda or HUDA),” Vij said. Hooda is facing a CBI probe in at least three cases — involving reallotment of a 3,360-sqm institutional plot to Associated Journals Limited (National Herald) in Panchkula, alleged irregularities in allocation of industrial plots at Panchkula, and an alleged scam in land acquisition in Manesar (Gurugram). He has been blaming the BJP government for adopting politics of vendetta.
The Congress reacted sharply to the change of name of HUDA. “The BJP government is worried because of increasing popularity of Bhupinder Singh Hooda. They can change name of HUDA, but they won’t be able to remove the name of Hooda from the hearts of the masses,” said Ran Singh Mann, spokesperson of Haryana Pradesh Congress Committee. HUDA is a well known name in urban areas of Haryana, including Gurugram and Faridabad, because of residential plots offered by it to various sections of society. Before the creation of HUDA, the Urban Estates Department, established in 1962, used to work on planned development of urban areas. HUDA came into existence on January 13, 1977, under an Act.