Renaming Ahmedabad To Karnavati? Gujarat Government Denies Receiving Proposals; Sparks Controversy In State Assembly

Renaming Ahmedabad To Karnavati? Gujarat Government Denies Receiving Proposals; Sparks Controversy In State Assembly

The legislator from Vejalpur, Amit Thaker asked the government about how many proposals were received for the name change.

Amit CowperUpdated: Tuesday, February 27, 2024, 08:50 PM IST
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Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel | Twitter@CMOGuj

A Gujarat government minister on Tuesday told the Gujarat state assembly that the government has not received a single proposal to rename the World Heritage City Ahmedabad. Since quite some time the BJP party leaders have been using the word 'Karnavati' for the Heritage City while it has not been authenticated, the reason for which the Congress legislator had asked the question of utilising it unconstitutionally.

During the question hour on Tuesday, the Congress legislator from Danilimda, Shailesh Parmar had asked the Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel who also holds the general Administration Department (GAD) portfolio, asking that what were the efforts by the Gujarat government to change the name of Ahmedabad to Karnavati and what were the responses received regarding the issue.

Replying to the question on behalf of the chief minister, Urban Development Minister Rishikesh Patel said that the state government had not received a single proposal for the change of name for Ahmedabad. "But as family members call a member by a pet name, one was free to do so," said Patel.

Responding to that Parmar had asked that if the name was not authenticated, why were the BJP elected members and office bearers using the name Karnavati instead of authentic name Ahmedabad? "These elected members, whether they represent the parliament or the state assembly, take oath and they are bound by the constitution. So it's not a question about someone being called by a pet name on their birthdays, but it's about the constitution. So when such a name has not been authorised and is still being used which is unconstitutional, my question is are you going to put an end to such use? Asked Parmar.

The legislator from Vejalpur, Amit Thaker asked the government about how many proposals were received for the name change.

"This is not a simple procedure where someone names something and it gets authenticated. There is a set procedure to follow. If someone applies here directly to the departments, it doesn't get entertained. The maximum we can do is to forward that application to the respective corporation or municipalities or to the district panchayats if it is the name change of a village. Thereafter the gram panchayats or the Tehsil or the district panchayat passes a resolution on that and following the channel from the village to the Tehsil to the district and to the departments, the government receives the proposal and the concerned department prepares the proposal and then it is submitted to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA)," the minister said.

On the name change of Ahmedabad the Minister said, "We have received 12 such applications and we have forwarded it to the Municipal Corporation, but we have not received any such proposals neither from the standing committee of the corporation or any from the corporation. So there's no question on dealing with it," replied Patel.

The minister further informed that the criteria for the name change. "The parameters for the name change of a village or city are, if there is no specific reason for a name change the name of that place continues whatever the name it is known for or everybody is used to it. Secondly, if possible not change any such name which has historical background, not change the name to please local population or in respect of any national leader. If a new name is chosen, it has to be ensured that no other similarly named place is existent in the state or neighbouring States, to avoid confusion. Besides that, at the name change proposal, the state government should specifically clarify the reasons for the change of name and it also should have the consent of the local bodies like the gram panchayats, taluka panchayats of district Panchayats or corporations or municipalities," said Patel.

When Parmar tried to argue the government on the said subject the speaker Shankar Chaudhary refused to allow such a discussion. He said, "As a member of the house was speaking on behalf of the Minister, the spoken words were removed from the record of the house," putting an end to the topic.

It should be noted here that the state of Gujarat has been ruled by the right wing BJP for almost three decades and since two decades, the right wing leaders have been trying to rename Ahmedabad to Karnavati. This attempt is seen as one to wipe out the Muslim heritage and linkage attached to the UNESCO declared heritage City of Ahmedabad.

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