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Meenakshi Lekhi wants Race Course Road renamed, AAP says no

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has opposed a proposal by BJP lawmaker Meenakshi Lekhi to rename Race Course Road, on which the Prime Minister’s official residence is located.

Lekhi on Tuesday proposed to New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) to rename Race Course Road as ‘Ekatma Marg’ based on the philosophy of her party’s ideologue Deendayal Upadhyay. She said that the existing name, Race Course Road, “does not match with Indian culture”.

Opposing the proposal, AAP MLA Surinder Singh demanded that the road should be rechristened after a martyr.

Singh, a former National Security Guard (NSG) commando who suffered injury in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks, said several veterans have approached him saying if the road is to be renamed then it should be done to honour martyred soldiers.

Singh, a New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) member, said he would raise the issue in the Council meeting on Wednesday. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal is also a member of NDMC.

“Race Course Road should be renamed after any soldier. I propose that it should be renamed after 1965 war hero Flt Lt Nirmaljit Singh Sekhon, who sacrificed his life for the nation. Renaming of road should not reflect the ideology of the RSS,” Singh said.

He said Race Course Road also houses two air force stations. “I have been approached by several veterans in my constituency. They want to the road to be renamed after any solider,” the Delhi Cantonment MLA said.

Lekhi, who is a member of NDMC, said in her proposal to the civic body that as the residence of the Prime Minister is situated on Race Course Road, the new name — Ekatma Marg — would remind every PM about the last person of the society. “The nation is celebrating the birth centenary of Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay this year. To take the philosophy of ‘Ekatma’ to the mind of the public at large, and as the name of the road, viz ‘Race Course Road’, on which residence of Prime Minister of India is situated does not match with Indian culture...

“(Lekhi) has, therefore, requested to rename Race Course Road under the NDMC area as Ekatma Marg so that this name would remind every Prime Minister about the last person of the society throughout life,” stated an agenda of the Council Meeting of NDMC which is likely to take a decision in this regard on Wednesday.

Lekhi, who is an MP from New Delhi, also cited the past cases of renaming of roads which fall under NDMC in her proposal submitted to the civic body on September 9. 
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