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'Why rename Dadar station as Chaityabhoomi?'

Last updated on: May 31, 2011 11:01 IST

Image: Mumbai's Dadar station
Photographs: Courtesy: Ayush Das/Flickr
As the battle for Dalit votes ahead of the civic elections in Maharashtra got interesting amid reports that the Sharad Pawar-led Nationalist Congress Party is mulling a resolution on renaming Dadar railway station in Mumbai as

'Chaityabhoomi' station, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray said he was opposed to any such move.

"I am opposed to renaming of any sort. What issues are going to be resolved by renaming," Raj told mediapersons at a hurriedly convened press conference, also in Dadar area.

'Chaityabhoomi' is the memorial of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar (he was cremated there in 1956), near Dadar railway station in central Mumbai.


'I am opposed to politics of changing names given by our own people'

Image: MNS chief Raj Thackeray

Lakhs gather at Chaityabhoomi to remember Ambedkar, father of the constitution, on his death anniversary each year.

"It is natural that names given by the British are changed. But why step into controversy by changing names given by our own people," the MNS chief said.

"I am opposed to the politics of changing names of our own people, given by our own people," he added.

Dalits are wise and they know what sort of politics is going on (over the renaming issue), Raj said.

"Marathwada University was renamed. Has any system changed?," he asked. "Build something which will be a tribute to the great personalities. But I am opposed to renaming of any sort," he said, adding "Please don't use Mahatmas for politics."

"What Ambedkar has created, written nobody wants to discuss. Only renaming is discussed. What issues are going to be resolved by renaming," he said.

'NCP should strive to get Ambedkar's picture on Rs 500 notes'

Image: Bharat Ratna Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar

Raj suggested that NCP should strive to get Ambedkar's picture printed on Rs 500 currency notes.

The MNS chief's comments came amid reports that a resolution seeking renaming Dadar station as Chaityabhoomi is expected at the NCP's 'social justice conference', being held on June 10 as part of the party's 11th anniversary celebrations.

On Republican Party of India leader Ramdas Athawale's recent announcement of his party's alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party-Shiv Sena combine, Raj said it was a selfish move.

In 1997, then Railway Minister Ram Vilas Paswan had announced re-christening Dadar station as Chaityabhoomi, in response to Sena chief Bal Thackeray's threat to ban his entry into Mumbai for refusing to start Konkan Railway trains from Dadar.

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