New Delhi : Eight years after it received a proposal from Karnataka government, the Centre on Friday cleared renaming 12 cities and towns of the state including Belgaum as Belagavi and Bangalore as Bengaluru.

 Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh gave his approval to the proposal of the Karnataka government made on October 27, 2006 to change the names of the 12  towns and cities in consonance with their pronunciation in Kannada language. Karnataka and Maharashtra, where the Assembly elections had just concluded, are locked in a boundary row over Belgaum.

 Besides Bangalore and Belgaum, the other cities and towns which will be known by new names (which are in brackets) are Mangalore (Mangaluru), Bellary(Ballari), Bijapur (Vijapura), Chikmagalur (Chikkamagaluru), Gulbarga (Kalaburagi), Mysore (Mysure), Hospet (Hosapete), Shimoga (Shivamogga), Hubli (Hubballi) and Tumkur (Tumakuru).

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