It's official, Allahabad is now Prayagraj
16 October 2018
Allahabad has been officially renamed ‘Prayagraj’. The Yogi Adityanath government cleared a proposal to take the clock back 500 years to the pre-Mughal era and give the city its earlier name.
“Allahabad will be called Prayagraj from today,” state minister Siddharth Nath Singh said in Lucknow after the cabinet meeting.
Opposition parties, including the Congress and the Samajwadi Party, had protested the move, dubbing it as a poll ploy, while intellectuals and the common man had given mixed reactions to the move to rename Allahabad, also known as the Sangam city.
"Prayagraj was named Allahabad during the Mughal era, around 500 years ago. The place is a confluence of three Holy rivers, namely the Saraswati, Yamuna, and Ganga, hence the name Prayagraj. People who have zero understanding of our history and traditions would question the move," Adityanath told reporters later in the day.
For the Congress party, the name Allahabad has special connotations, being the birth place of several of its leaders, including Jawaharlal Nehru. The party had argued that the city had played a key role in the country’s freedom struggle and renaming it would diminish its importance.
On a visit to Allahabad on Saturday, chief minister Yogi Adityanath had hinted at renaming the city, saying there was a proposal to rename the city in the run-up to the 2019 Kumbh Mela.
Energy minister and government spokesperson Shrikant Sharma had supported the move. "Some persons are objecting to renaming Allahabad as Prayagraj. The objections are baseless. It is the right of the government to rename any city. If needed, we will rename more cities and roads. The mistakes done earlier will be rectified," Sharma had said.
Governor Ram Naik was also supportive of the demands put forth by saints and people of the Sangam city to rename it, the minister had said.