Sheikh Nagar in Jammu could soon be called Shiv Nagar, and Amphalla Chowk could be renamed as Hanuman Chowk, if a resolution passed at the Jammu Municipal Corporation is accepted by the Jammu and Kashmir administration. The opposition strongly criticised the move.
Sharda Kumari, a Bharatiya Janata Party councillor from ward 47 where Sheikh Nagar is located, moved the resolution seeking the change in names at the 16th general house meeting of the municipality held at the Jammu town hall on Saturday.
Shiekh Nagar is named Shiekh Mohammad Abdullah, founder of the National Conference party, which said the renaming will not erase the role of their leader from the hearts of the people.
Mayor Chander Mohan Gupta had informed on Saturday that the municipal corporation has passed a resolution to change the names. The BJP holds majority in the corporation.
The resolution will now be sent to the civil secretariat of Jammu and Kashmir for approval.
“Amid the situation across the country, the resolution by the corporation should not come as a surprise,” said Firdous Tak, former legislator and spokesperson of the People’s Democratic Party. “The BJP run states are in a rat race to prove which one of them is more communal than the other.”
“With development, economy and prosperity at the lowest ever level, the BJP leadership is under duress to resort to such means to win over their supporters,” Tak said.
“They are making a mockery of themselves. They have reduced themselves to subject of ridicule. They pass resolutions but government refused to accept them,” former education minister and Aam Aadmi Party leader Harsh Dev Singh said. “Provide bijli (electricity) and pani (water) to the people. The BJP has utterly failed to overcome unemployment and daily wagers are on the roads seeking regularization.”
“They want to communalise entire Jammu and Kashmir,” Singh said. “They better fulfil their constitutional duties rather than creating a divide among the people.”
“It is the BJP’s policy to divide the people and rule,” said Ghulam Ahmad Mir, president of the Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee. “They are polarizing the people in the name of religion”.
Changing names won’t resolve the problems of the common people, Mir added.
“As and when any other party shall come to power, they will change the names. This is wrong precedent being set by the BJP. Such moves will create communal disharmony,” Mir alleged. “They don’t have any constructive programme. The daily wagers are on the streets in sweltering heat being cane charged and the BJP is up to changing names just to divert the attention of the people.”