NEW DELHI

Akhilesh renames eight districts

The politics of renaming districts and institutions in Uttar Pradesh went a notch further up when the Akhilesh Yadav Government on Monday rechristened eight districts, named after Dalit icons by former Chief Minister Mayawati and restored the original name of the Chhatrapati Shahuji Maharaj Medical University in Lucknow. The university too owed its name to Ms. Mayawati.

The medical university will now again be known as King George’s Medical University. Before becoming a university in 2002 it was known as King George’s Medical College (KGMC).

Ms Mayawati’s decisions were reversed at a Cabinet meeting presided over by Akhilesh Yadav. She had created eight districts named after Dalit icons and eminent persons belonging to the Other Backward Classes (OBCs) during her last regime. But following Monday’s decision, the districts have been named after the place of their district headquarters. Thus, Chhatrapati Shahuji Maharaj Nagar district, created by the BSP regime in 2010 by incorporating some tehsils of Sultanpur and Rae Bareli districts and the Amethi Parliamentary constituency has been renamed as Amethi. Congressmen wanted the district to be renamed Amethi.

Panchsheel Nagar, which came into being in 2011, will be known as Hapur district and Kanshi Ram Nagar district named after the Bahujan Samaj Party’s founder and Ms. Mayawati’s mentor is now Kasganj district. While Mahamaya Nagar district will now be known by its original name of Hathras, Amroha is the new name for Jyotiba Phule Nagar district. Ramabai Nagar too has been restored to its original name of Kanpur Dehat district. Prabudh Nagar and Bhim Nagar districts, which were created in 2011, have been rechristened Shamli and Bahjoi districts respectively.

There was a demand to rename Bhim Nagar as Sambhal, but the State Government preferred to name it after its district headquarter.

The medical university’s name has been changed four times from Chhatrapati Shahuji Maharaj Medical University to KGMU. Lucknow’s world famed King George’s Medical College was made a university in 2002 and named after Shahuji Maharaj, a social reformer from Maharashtra, by Ms. Mayawati. When Mulayam Singh came to power in 2003 he renamed the medical university as King George’s Medical University. The medical university again came to be known as Chhatrapati Shahuji Maharaj Medical University (CSSMU) following the BSP president’s return to power in 2007. Now that Mr. Mulayam Singh’s son is in the saddle, the institution again becomes King George’s Medical University.

Meanwhile, the Akhilesh Yadav Government’s move has come in for sharp criticism from Ms. Mayawati. Condemning the decision, the former Chief Minister said in a statement released to the Press that the move to rename the districts was an insult to the eminent persons belonging to the Dalits and OBCs. She said the districts had been named after them as a mark of respect to their contribution towards the welfare of the downtrodden and deprived persons.