Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath addressing a public meeting in Azamgarh on Sunday. (PTI PHOTO)


Chief minister Yogi Adityanath appeared to be once again hinting at renaming Azamgarh as Aryamgarh during a public meeting for the Azamgarh Lok Sabha bypoll on Sunday.

The hint came when Yogi Adityanath urged the people of Azamgarh to associate themselves with the opportunity of turning Azamgarh into Aryamgarh.

“I have come here once again. Don’t allow Azamgarh to become atankwad ka garh (hub of terrorism). Associate yourself with the process of making Azamgarh “Aryamgarh” through development. Don’t miss this opportunity,” Yogi said in Azamgarh, situated 261 km south-east of Lucknow.

The by-election to the Azamgarh Lok Sabha seat has been necessitated following the resignation of Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav, who is now the leader of opposition, in the 18th state legislative assembly.

The BJP has fielded popular Bhojpuri film actor Dinesh Lal Yadav, popularly known as Nirahua, as its candidate for the Azamgarh Lok Sabha seat.

This is not for the first time that Yogi has dropped hints about renaming Azamgarh as Aryamgarh.

Yogi had made similar observations in the presence of Union home minister Amit Shah on the occasion of laying the foundation stone of a state university in Azamgarh in November 2021.

“Azamgarh will turn into Aryamgarh in the true sense with the setting up this university. There is no doubt about this now,” Yogi had said while addressing the people then in Azamgarh.

The BJP’s affiliated organisations have been demanding a change of name in Azamgarh. Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader Ram Krishna Mishra said he was hopeful that chief minister would soon rename Azamgarh as Aryamgarh.

“We have been raising this demand consistently and the issue has been brought to the notice of chief minister Yogi Adityanath time and again. Azamgarh was known as Aryamgarh during the Mughal period when its name was changed to Azamgarh. We have submitted a number of memorandums and hope the renaming will be a reality soon,” said Mishra.

Though Azamgarh district’s website gives a brief history as Azamgarh, it does not mention that the city was ever named Aryamgarh.

”Azamgarh, one of the easternmost districts of the State, once formed a part of the ancient Kosala kingdom, except the north-eastern part of it which was included in the kingdom of Malla. Kosala figured prominently among the four powerful monarchies of northern India during the time of the Buddha when its Prosperity reached its zenith,” reads the Azamgarh district’s website.

Besides renaming Faizabad as Ayodhya and Allahabad as Prayagraj in 2018, the state government has changed names of a number of divisions/districts and places.

A demand to rename Firozabad as Chandra Nagar, Aligarh as Hari Nagar, Mainpuri as Mayan Nagar and Sultanpur as Kushbhuvanpur has also been raised. A proposal recommending the renaming of Sultanpur was also sent by Sultanpur’s district officials in 2021.

This article first appeared on hindustantimes.com