In an obvious gesture to express greater bonhomie between the Congress and the Samajwadi Party, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on Monday renamed Chattrapati Shahuji Maharaj Nagar as Amethi, the parliamentary constituency of Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi.
The announcement came along with renaming of eight new districts carved out by the previous Mayawati government.
Mayawati's decision to rename the century-old King George's Medical University in Lucknow after Chattrapati Shahuji Maharaj has also been reversed with immediate effect.
The name Chattrapati Shahuji Maharaj Nagar was given by Mayawati, who carved out the district after slicing out portions from Rae Bareli and Sultanpur districts.
Since the Amethi parliamentary constituency was shared by both these districts, there was a popular demand for naming the new district as Amethi.
However, in a blatant bid to spite Rahul and the Congress leadership, Mayawati chose not to concede the popular demand and instead named it after her favourite icon and the social reformer from Maharashtra, who was also an erstwhile ruler of Kolhapur.
The other districts created by her were also named after the Bahujan Samaj Party icons.
For instance, when she carved out Mahamaya Nagar out of Ghaziabad district, she disregarded the local sentiment which favoured Hathras as the new district. Akhilesh has now renamed the district as Hathras.
Likewise, Jyotiba Phule Nagar -- also named after a BSP icon from Maharashtra -- has been renamed as Amroha, which was the original name of the biggest town in the area.
Yet another new district of Kanshi Ram Nagar was renamed Kasganj after the leading town in the region, while Kanpur Dehat that was renamed as Rama Bai Nagar, has been reversed to its original name.
Another Mayawati creation, Prabuddh Nagar will now be known as Shamli, after a town in Muzaffarnagar district out of which it was carved. Similarly Bhim Nagar, created out of Moradabad district, has been renamed after an old town 'Sambhal' while Panchsheel Nagar will now be known as Hapur, a popular trading hub between Ghaziabad and Meerut.
Flaying the Akhilesh Yadav government for the decision, BSP president Mayawati has termed the move as 'anti-Dalit' and 'a reflection of the SP government's disrespect towards leading social reformers'.
She warned, "The move will cost Akhilesh Yadav and his government dear."