A minister in Yogi Adityanath's cabinet has stoked controversy by stating that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) should change the names of the senior Muslim leaders in the party, given the party had renamed several cities which were named after Mughal leaders.
Om Prakash Rajbhar, who is the Backward class minister in the Uttar Pradesh government as well as a leader of SBSP, has demanded that BJP, after renaming Allahabad and Faizabad, should now change the names of leaders like Shahnawaz Hussain, Mukhtas Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and Minister Mohsin Raza.
Stating that names of Muslim cities have been changed, the same should be applied to the leaders. Speaking exclusively to Republic TV, he said,
"Names of Mohsin Raza, Shehnawaz Hussain and Mukhtas Abbas Naqvi was kept by a Muslim, not a Hindu. Now that they are changing the names of Muslim cities, shouldn't they first change their names? The BJP goes by the logic 'Sabka Sath, Sabka Vikas'. Then from where is this Mughal, or Hindu-Muslim talk coming?"
Earlier in the day, he stated a very similar thing while speaking to ANI. Mentioning that the BJP should keep it equal when it comes to changing names, he said,
"Names should be changed, they are saying this. BJP changed the name of Mughalsarai and Ayodhya, because it was after the name of Mughals. But within their party, they have National Spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain, Union Minister Mukhtas Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and UP Minister Minister Mohsin Raza. They should first change their names."
In the past one month, the BJP government has changed the names of couple of cities, which has prompted calls for renaming of other cities across the country by various parties. Last month, the name of Allahabad was changed to Prayagraj. It was then followed by renaming of Faizabad, which has now become Ayodhya.
Following this, the Gujarat government announced that they are talking about changing the name of Ahmedabad, and renaming it as Karnavati. And earlier this week, Shiv Sena also got into this matter, and asked when will the BJP government in Maharashtra rename Aurangabad to Sambhaji Nagar and Osmanabad to Dharashiv Nagar.