The Prime Minister of India has a new address: 7, Lok Kalyan Marg. The New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) on Wednesday decided to rename Race Course Road (RCR) as Lok Kalyan Marg, stating that the former does not “match with the Indian ethos and value system”.
The moves comes a little over a year after Aurangzeb Road in Lutyens’ Delhi was renamed after former President Dr APJ Abdul Kalam. The council meeting was called after Lekhi proposed that RCR be renamed. She had, however, suggested Ekatma Marg, based on the philosophy of BJP ideologue Deendayal Upadhyaya.
“Although a few suggestions were made at the NDMC meeting, the consensus was that Race Course Road be renamed as Lok Kalyan Marg,” Kejriwal said at a press conference in the evening. “Taking into consideration the value system, public life, cultural and social values, the Council has approved the proposal unanimously, so as to take the philosophy of public welfare in mind,” said a statement issued by NDMC.
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“It was observed by the Council that the name of the road ‘Race Course Road’, on which the official residence of the Prime Minister of India is situated, does not match with the Indian ethos and value system. NDMC unanimously resolved to rename Race Course Road as Lok Kalyan Marg,” it said.
Another NDMC member and AAP MLA from Delhi Cantonment, Surinder Singh, said the meeting saw a few names being proposed. “I had proposed that it could be named after Paramvir Chakra recipient Flying Officer Nirmal Jeet Singh Sekhon. Meenakshi Lekhi and some other members were opposed to the idea, and they proposed Ekatma Marg as the new name. A consensus was finally reached on Lok Kalyan Marg,” Singh said.
He said there was also a proposal to name it after Guru Gobind Singh. “The suggestion, however, did not get consensus,” said Singh.
In her proposal to NDMC Chairperson Naresh Kumar, Lekhi said: “This year, the birth anniversary of our political inspiration Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyaya is going to be celebrated… Ekatma word is sketched on the mind of people in the country, hence I am making a request to you. The name of Race Course Road, where Prime Minister’s residence is located, is not associated with our Indian culture. My humble request is that it should be named Ekatma Marg.”
She had said the renaming should take place on September 25, the birth anniversary of Deen Dayal Upadhyaya. The road stretches from a roundabout where Teen Murti Marg, Rajaji Marg, Akbar Road and Safdarjung Road meet, and ends at Mustafa Kamal Ataturk Marg.
In August 2015, the council renamed Aurangzeb Road after Kalam, following a demand by BJP MP Maheish Girri, who said the renaming should be seen as a measure to “correct mistakes in our history”.