State Cabinet minister and Suheldev Bhartiya Samaj Party (SBSP) president Om Prakash Rajbhar on Saturday attacked his political ally, the BJP, for changing the names of different places in the state and asked the ruling party to first change the names of three of its Muslim leaders — Cabinet minister Mohsin Raza, BJP national spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain and Union minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi.
The statement came from Rajbhar after the state government recently changed the name of Allahabad to Prayagraj and Faizabad to Ayodhya. Last year, the name of the iconic Mughalsarai railway station near Varanasi was changed to Deen Dayal Upadhyaya (DDU) station. BJP MLA Sangeet Som had on Friday demanded that the name of Muzaffarnagar district be changed to Lakshmi Nagar.
“After forming the government, they are misleading the backwards, Dalits and poor so that they do not become aware of their rights… so that they do not think about the education and employment of their children. They (BJP people) have many conspiracies to divert people’s attention. They are just changing names,” Rajbhar told a news agency on Saturday.
“When you are changing names, why don’t you the change names of those who are with you? Change the name of Mohsin Raza, Shahnawaz Hussain and Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi. Do this and then focus here. All this is just drama,” he added.
Talking to The Sunday Express, he added, “The government is saying that Mughals and Muslims gave all these names and now they are changing it. But they were also Muslims who gave names to their children… They are in the Cabinet, so why not change their names?” The SBSP chief also accused the BJP government of lacking a vision.
In a retort, BJP spokesperson Harish Srivastava said, “There are some political leaders who keep doing these kind of gimmicks to stay in news. Rajbhar ji is one of those leaders… Only recently he gave a statement where he said he will contest the upcoming election under the leadership of Narendra Modi. With that you can know what kind of a politician he is…”