Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath has been a visible face for BJP during campaigning in Telangana ahead of assembly polls here. Among the promises made, he said on Wednesday that if his party is voted to power, Hyderabad would be renamed Bhagyanagar while Karimnagar district would be renamed Karipuram.
While Adityanath had previously spoken about Hyderabad's name being changed, he added Karimnagar district to the list. "In order to respect the sentiments of people of Telangana, BJP will rename Karimnagar to Karipuram," he was quoted as saying at a rally in Karimnagar. He also repeated the promise of renaming Hyderabad at another rally - in Bodhan town of Nizamabad district. "Hyderabad will become Bhagyanagar like we did it in Uttar Pradesh where we changed Faizabad to Ayodhya and Allahabad to Prayagraj."
There have been a series of name changes in UP since Yogi Adityanath government took over. Not just cities and districts but even the Mughalsarai railway junction was renamed Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyaya junction. There are proposals for changing names of airports, bus stands as well as of other cities in the state.
It is a move that has been questioned by political rivals who have accused Adityanath of focusing more on changing names rather than addressing concerns of people. Even in Telangana, the likes of Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) President Asaduddin Owaisi and his brother Akbaruddin have accused him of ignoring his own state and campaigning in other states. The charges have been countered by Adityanath who said in one of his election rallies that 'Owaisi will have to flee Hyderabad like the Nizams if BJP is voted to power.'
With Telangana voting on Friday, voters will have the final say in what is largely being seen as a three-way contest between Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), BJP and Congress.