A piquant situation has emerged for the Shiv Sena (UBT) with the city unit of the Congress demanding that Dadar railway station be called Chaitya Bhoomi station since Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar was cremated at Dadar beach. The demand was voiced by MLA Varsha Gaikwad, president of the Mumbai Regional Congress Committee (MRCC), on the occasion of Dr Ambedkar's death anniversary on Wednesday. Gaikwad has been keen on renaming the busy railway station.
Bal Thackeray opposed renaming; but Shiv Sena (UBT) remains tight lipped
This is not the first time such a demand was raised, though. However, earlier the Shiv Sena led by Bal Thackeray had vehemently opposed the renaming. The late leader had said the name Dadar was there for a very long time and the feelings of lakhs of people were attached to it. He had said under no circumstances will he allow the renaming. A large number of people of Dadar too had opposed the renaming.
However, this time around, the Shiv Sena (UBT) is silent. This is because the Congress is its ally now and the party does not want to give the impression that it is opposing a proposal mooted by its ally, the Congress. Shiv Sena (UBT) spokesperson Sanjay Raut did not respond to a query from the FPJ.
Support for renaming grows
Meanwhile, VG Nair, former office-bearer of the MRCC, said the station should be named after Dr Ambedkar. He said the late leader lived in a building very close to Dadar railway station.
When Victoria Terminus was renamed as Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus, several activists demanded that Mumbai Central station be named after Dr Ambedkar. But, the Centre did not respond to any of these demands.
Elphinstone station on Western Railway was renamed Prabhadevi a few years ago. There is a demand that other stations with British names too should be renamed. The stations concerned include King's Circle, Sandhurst Road, Reay Road and Cotton Green.