Will name roads after Kanshi Ram, Lohia: Maurya

LUCKNOW: Uttar Pradesh deputy chief minister on Monday said that his government had decided to roll out a scheme to name both budgeted and newly constructed roads in the state after national icons, including Dr and Kanshi Ram. While Lohia is a socialist hero for the (SP), Kanshi Ram is the founder of the BSP.

Speaking to TOI, Maurya said that his government had identified 54 newly constructed inter-state roads which would be named after the national icons. These roads have been constructed at a budget of more than Rs 2,500 crore. Another Rs 4,800 crore is likely to be sanctioned for road and infrastructure projects in east and west UP.

The move by the BJP government may be seen as an attempt to usurp the stalwarts of two main rivals SP and BSP who are in talks to come together in 2019 Lok Sabha polls. Maurya though said that the idea was to honour and respect the contribution of all national leaders irrespective of their parties.

“This is where the difference lies between BJP and rest of the parties. We do not hesitate in giving respect to people where it is due,” Maurya told TOI. “We have had several roads named after RSS thinker Deen Dayal UPadhyay and Shyama Prasad Mukherjee. So have been several prominent places named after Mahatama Gandhi and SP Patel but many of our wise men and women have been discarded by the previous regimes of Congress, SP and BSP to honour their thinking on public spaces,” he said.

The deputy CM, who holds the public works department (PWD) portfolio, also revealed that UP’s ancient and medieval kings who fought against Turk and Muslim invaders would be feted in a similar manner.

“Whether its Chandra Gupta Maurya or Raja Suheldev. Both of them were valiant warriors. They have rarely found a mention in any buildings or public offices during UPA regime at Centre or BSP and SP regime in UP. Why should they be eluded from getting recognition in public memory?”

In UP, Suheldev is recognised as a cow protector and patron of saints. BJP has an ally (SBSP), which has had a rocky relationship with the BJP in recent months.
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