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RS disrupted over renaming of Mughalsarai station

Last updated on: August 04, 2017 19:40 IST

Rajya Sabha proceedings were on Friday briefly adjourned after opposition Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party created a furore over the renaming of the historic Mughalsarai railway station in Uttar Pradesh after Deen Dayal Upadhayay.

SP members trooped into the well of the House shouting slogans and disrupted taking up of listed business, forcing Deputy Chairman P J Kurien to adjourn the proceedings for 10 minutes.

The issue was raised by Naresh Agarwal (SP), who had given notice under rule 267 seeking suspension of business to take up discussion on the issue. But Kurien disallowed it saying the subject can be raised in some other form like a Zero Hour notice.

However, the parties from Uttar Pradesh continued to protest.

The railway station came into being in 1862 when the East India Company linked Howrah to Delhi by rail.

The Centre on Friday approved a proposal to rename the iconic Mughalsarai railway station after Jan Sangh leader Deen Dayal Upadhyaya, a home ministry official said.

The proposal was given by the Bharatiya Janata Party government in Uttar Pradesh, in a bid to revive the legacy of Upadhyaya, who died
in 1968 in the junction itself.

Minister of State for Home Affairs Hansraj Ahir cleared the proposal today, the home ministry official said.

The junction, the fourth busiest railway station in the country, is located on the main Howrah-Delhi Grand Chord line.

The Uttar Pradesh government, headed by Yogi Adityanath, had in June approved the proposal of renaming the station and forwarded it to the Ministry of Railways for final approval.

Upadhyay's body was found under mysterious circumstances on a platform of Mughalsarai in 1968. The town is part of Chandauli district and is just 20 km from Varanasi.

Mughalsarai is also the birthplace of former Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri.

The station contains the largest railway marshaling yard in Asia. It is 12.5 km long and handles around 1,500 wagons daily. The largest wagon repair workshop of the Indian Railways is also located here.

Mughalsarai is not the only railway station whose name has been changed in recent times.

The iconic Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus in Mumbai saw the word 'Maharaj' added to its name earlier this year.

While Agarwal said the government was trying to change character of the country, his other party colleagues said the names of persons ‘who have made no contribution to the freedom struggle’ are being given.

Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi objected to it, saying the opposition parties have no objection to Mughal names but cannot see the name of a great thinker.

When SP members said no railway station in the country has been named after any personality, Naqvi said the Victoria Terminus in Mumbai was renamed Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus.

Kurien pleaded with members to return to their places and allow the Zero Hour to function. But the slogan shouting continued.

To break the impasse, he called Chhaya Verma (Congress) to speak. Kurien had earlier not allowed her to raise the issue of the agriculture forest land scam in Chhattisgarh saying she could give a Zero Hour notice to raise the issue.

Amid slogan shouting, Verma alleged that a minister in the Bharatiya Janata Party government in Chhattisgarh had acquired state forest land to build a resort and demanded a Central Bureau of Investigation probe into it.

Ruling party members protested against Verma being allowed to raise the issue, with Naqvi saying how can a state issue be raised in Parliament.

As the ruckus continued, Kurien adjourned the proceedings for 10 minutes.

Earlier, soon after the House met for the day, Kurien disallowed notices under rule 267 given by P L Punia and Verma to raise the Chhattisgarh issue.

“You can give Zero Hour notice,” he said. “Raise it in some other form. I am not allowing it.”

As the Congress members pleaded for allowing Verma two minutes to make her submission, Kurien said, ‘don’t pressurise me’.

He said this was not matter that warranted suspension of business to take up the matter. "Therefore, I am asking her to give Zero Hour notice."

IMAGE: SP leader Naresh Agarwal in Rajya Sabha.

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