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UP cabinet approves renaming of Faizabad as Ayodhya, Allahabad as Prayagraj

Uttar Pradesh Government has approved renaming of Faizabad and Allahabad divisions as Ayodhya and Prayagraj respectively. The decision was taken at meeting of state cabinet presided over by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath in state capital Lucknow. Now, the proposal will now go to Central before the city is officially renamed. Prayagraj division will comprise Prayagraj, Kaushambi, Fatehpur and Pratapgarh districts. Ayodhya division will include Ayodhya, Ambedkarnagar, Sultanpur, Amethi and Barabanki districts, Khanna said.

Background

Government has justified the name changes across Uttar Pradesh, saying they are merely restoring older names and correcting historical distortions. Allahabad’s ancient name was ‘Prayag’, but was changed after 16th-century Mughal emperor Akbar built fort near ‘Sangam’, the holy confluence of three rivers viz. Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati. Akbar named the fort and its neighbourhood ‘Ilahabad’. Later, Akbar’s grandson Shah Jahan renamed the entire city as ‘Allahabad’. But the area near the ‘Sangam’, the site of the Kumbh Mela, continues to be known as ‘Prayag’. The reason cited for renaming Faizabad is that Ayodhya was the capital of ‘Ikshvaku dynasty’, to which the Hindu god Ram belonged, and that it is popular known as his birthplace. Ayodhya is has been capital of many estates and dynasties in different time periods.

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Lucknow’s Ekana cricket stadium renamed after Atal Bihari Vajpayee

Uttar Pradesh Government has decided to rename newly-built Ekana International Stadium in capital city Lucknow after former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. The stadium with a seating capacity of around 50,000 will now be known as ‘Bharat Ratna Atal Bihari Vajpayee International Cricket Stadium’.

Key Facts

The stadium was renamed just ahead of first-ever international cricket match – T20 International between India and West Indies. For renaming stadium, UP Government through Lucknow Development Authority (LDA) used powers vested as per clause 17.5.1 of agreement signed between Ekana Sports City Private Ltd; GC Constructions; Development Industries Pvt Ltd and LDA. The clause 17.5.1 of agreement says that stadium will be named once project is completed. Its name was changed in memory of Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who passed away in August 2018. The former prime minister was Member of Parliament from Lucknow for five consecutive times between 1991 and 2009.

Note: Yogi Adityanath Government in UP earlier this year also renamed Allahabad as Prayagraj and Mughalsarai as Pt. Deen Dayal Upadhyaya nagar.

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