Union Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu Wednesday all but rejected demands to rename New Delhi’s Akbar Road after Rajput king Maharana Pratap and said it was not part of his “agenda”. Naidu’s remarks come a day after Minister of State for External Affairs V K Singh wrote to Naidu asking for the name change.
Reacting to Singh’s letter, Naidu told The Indian Express, “It is not on my agenda. I am only concerned with development.”
The minister added that the matter did not concern his ministry to begin with. Sources in the Ministry of Urban Development said that while the matter pertains to the New Delhi Municipal Council and the Delhi government, the Union government is not in favour of renaming Akbar Road.
Reacting to Singh’s letter, the opposition Congress said talk about renaming Akbar Road as Maharana Pratap Road was merely BJP’s attempt to divert attention from the government’s “failures and mal-governance” over the past two years.
“This government has a strange penchant. It wants to rename roads. Somebody should ask them that if they were so interested in renaming roads, why did they get elected to Parliament? Why are they running the central government? Naming and renaming roads is the job of the municipal corporation. They should have got elected to the municipal corporation.
If they are so interested in changing the names of roads, they should resign from Parliament and contest MCD elections or join NDMC,” said Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari.
He said the demand for renaming of roads reflected a “tokenist” and “frivolous mindset which is not able to grapple with the complexities and challenges of governance and therefore resorts to every kind of chicanery in order to cover up their inaptitude and malgovernance.”
“This revisionist view of history… it is because they don’t want anyone to question the work they have done… because they have done nothing… The idea is to mislead the people and divert (attention) from the real issues…
They should talk about their achievements. The economy is in doldrums. They had vowed to deal sternly with Pakistan and what have they done?
Ties with China have turned frosty. And there are many such questions. And all this mayajaal is only to divert attention,” he said.