BR Ambedkar gets new name in UP Govt records; oppn fumes
Lucknow: The Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh on Thursday waded into a political controversy by deciding to introduce 'Ramji' as the middle name of the Father of the Constitution B R Ambedkar in all official correspondence and records.
The decision did not go down well with the opposition ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, with a fuming Samajwadi Party seeing vote-bank politics behind the move.
A government order to this effect, issued last night, got mired in political controversy with the SP crying hoarse that the move smacked of politics ahead of the Lok Sabha elections. "The BJP government is playing politics with the name of the Dalit icon," SP leader Anurag Bhadoria said, hours after the state government issued the order.
He charged the state government with politicising Ambedkar's name to attract Dalit votes.
In Mainpuri, SP chief Akhilesh Yadav said instead of altering Ambedkar's name, it is important that the path he showed is followed.
"A change has been made in the name of Bhim Rao Ambedkar ... whosoever has the right to vote knows his name... It is essential today, when he is being remembered and a new name is being affixed with his name, to follow the path shown by him," he said, adding every child knows Ambedkar's name.
"I will say that it is also essential that the chief minister reads the Preamble of the Constitution... If he does so, the anger that was shown in the UP Legislative Council over his remarks against socialism will not be seen... The Constitution and its basis is around socialism," he said, referring to Adityanath's speech in the Vidhan Parishad yesterday.
"If someone says 'sabka saath sabka vikas' it can also be considered as the definition of socialism by some people," he stressed.
Seeking to blunt the opposition attack, UP cabinet minister Swami Prasad Maurya said there was no politics in the decision and no ulterior motive should be seen in the order issued by Principal Secretary (Admin) Jitendra Kumar, an official spokesman said here today. Another senior minister and spokesman of the Uttar Pradesh government, Sidharth Nath Singh, said the BJP has only seen to it that the name of Baba Saheb is written correctly.
"Those who follow his ideals and indulge in tactics should not dabble in politics on his name... When it is being written and used rightly they should praise it... This is our appeal to them," he said.