Taking a cue from Uttar Pradesh, senior BJP leaders and former Chief Minister Uma Bharti along with Member of Parliament, Pragya Thakur have demanded renaming of places around Bhopal as these names signify bloodshed of Muslim rulers. These places included- Halalpura bus stand, Lal Ghati and Islamnagar.
Thakur during a function on Tuesday demanded that these places in Bhopal should be renamed after freedom fighters as they only signify bloodshed and atrocities. These names spoil the sanctity by even pronouncing them, she said.
Thakur’s remarks came close on the heels of similar demand from party senior Uma Bharti who had objected to names like Lal Ghati and Halali dam which signify bloodshed.
Bharti also wrote a letter to Berasia MLA Vishnu Khatri urging him to take up the name-changing issue to the tourism minister Usha Thakur. She had mentioned that Halali dam’s name was reminiscent of bloodshed by Bhopal’s first Muslim ruler Dost Mohammed Khan who invited his friend rulers to the place and later got them killed by his men through deceit. The ministers also objected to several places named by Muslim rulers in Indore. Bharti also urged Berasia MLA that Halali dam is a tourist spot but the name emanates hatred and the authorities should change it immediately. The firebrand Bhopal MP had also objected to Lal Ghati’s name as queen Kamlapati’s sons were killed there.
The tourism minister personally had objected to an area named Khajrana in Indore and said that a particular community altered names in the vicinity without approaching any government authority.
Not only cities but recently former Rajya Sabha MP Prabhat Jha wrote to Railways Minister Piyush Goyal for renaming Habibganj railway station in Bhopal after late PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Following which MP assembly protem speaker Rameshwar Sharma demanded that Idgah Hills in Bhopal where the Sikh religious guru visited in the past, should be named after him.
In the past, BJP leaders also raised a demand for renaming Bhopal city as Bhojpal in the honour of famous Hindu king Bhoj, whose statue was established in Upper Lake in Bhopal by then CM Babulal Gaur.
However, the then BJP government had rolled back the contentious proposal in 2012 after the Centre rejected it.
In 2015, the Bhopal municipal corporation had floated a proposal to name 19 municipal zones after famous Hindutva personalities ranging from Hindu rulers to freedom fighters and politicians.
Then Chief Minister Kamal Nath also named Bhopal metro as Bhoj metro in the honour of the great king, while laying the foundation of the metro rail project in the city in year 2019.
Though his own party MLA from the region, Arif Masood, had opposed the move, saying the metro project be left as Bhopal metro as there were many things after the king's name and many more could be named in future.