Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia reacted on Tuesday to the official announcement changing the name of Mughal Sarai railway station in Uttar Pradesh.
The BJP government in Uttar Pradesh, led by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, announced the official renaming of Mughal Sarai Junction to Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Junction on Monday.
Sisodia took to Twitter to take a jibe at the Yogi government by raising the critical situation of government schools and colleges.
“Instead of making efforts to change the name of a city, had efforts been made to improve the condition of government schools and colleges then it could have benefitted the coming generations,” wrote Sisodia in Hindi.
“But no, if children become educated how will they get trapped in their hocus pocus of name change?” added the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader.
Education is one of the many portfolios Sisodia holds in the Delhi government led by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.
Sisodia’s remark comes a day after The Times of India reported on the condition of government schools in Uttar Pradesh.
Citing data from U-DISE (Unified District Information System for Education), the TOI, on 4 June, reported that 48 government schools in UP had been found to be running without a single student.
On Monday, the UP government issued a notification informing that the name of the historic Mughal Sarai Junction has been changed to that of the founder of Bharatiya Jana Sangh, which itself was renamed Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) after the fragmentation of Janata Party (JP) in 1980.
Upadhyaya, who served as the president of the BJS, was found dead under mysterious circumstances at the station on 11 February, 1968.
In 2017, the UP government had taken the decision to change the name of the extremely busy junction located just 18 km east of Varanasi with an objective to revive the legacy of Upadhyaya.
The decision was criticised by opposition parties in Parliament, especially Samajwadi Party, which reportedly claimed that Upadhyaya had “made no contribution to the Indian struggle for freedom”. The vociferous protests had led to the adjournment of the Rajya Sabha on 4 August 2017.
According to reports, Governor Ram Naik has been informed about the change of name.
Built by the British in the 1860s, the junction connects Delhi to Kolkata. Every major train that runs between the two metros passes through Mughal Sarai, making it the fourth busiest railway junction in India. Located in Chandauli district, Mughal Sarai also has Asia’s largest marshalling yard.
The BJP holds both Chandauli Lok Sabha seat and Mughal Sarai assembly seat.