Renaming of roads in Padarayanapura stokes controversy
Following objections from citizens and BJP leaders, BBMP recommends dropping the proposal
The renaming of 11 roads in Padarayanapura ward to honour social workers and leaders belonging to the minority community has stoked a controversy. Following objections from sections of citizens and several BJP leaders, including MPs Anantkumar Hegde and Tejasvi Surya, civic chief N. Manjunath Prasad wrote to the government recommending dropping the renaming proposal.
Ironically, though maximum opposition came from the BJP, it was the BJP-ruled BBMP council that approved the proposal to rename the 11 roads. The subject was among the many that were approved without any discussion in the council two days before the term was to end. The issue came to light only when BBMP Joint Commissioner (Revenue) issued a notification calling for objections to the renaming proposal.
In his letter to Mr. Prasad, Mr. Hedge has said that renaming the roads after persons belonging to one minority community was “inappropriate” and recommended that the roads and streets be named after freedom fighters and national leaders instead. Mr. Surya wrote to the civic chief saying that naming roads in a locality dominated by the minority community “reeks of the same communal mentality as two-nation theory”.
Former mayor M. Goutham Kumar, who approved the subject in the council, and former Ruling Party Leader K.A. Muneendra Kumar, who proposed it, have also raised objections. Mr. Goutham Kumar admitted that the subject was approved without full details of what was being proposed.
“The subject was added at the last minute and was approved even before we could go through the annexure for complete details,” he said and alleged that it had been brought to their attention that some of the roads have been named after living persons and others who were not social workers. As per BBMP rules, roads cannot be named after living persons, he said and added that he too had written to the BBMP Administrator and Commissioner urging them to drop the proposal.
Mr. Prasad has cited certain sections of the Karnataka Municipal Corporations Act, 1976, while recommending to the government that the proposal be dropped. However, even this has come under fire from civic activists.
S. Amaresh, managing trustee of RTI Study Centre, said the decision could have been revoked by the Administrator by exercising powers under the business rules of KMC Act. He blamed the BBMP’s legal cell for not recommending to the Commissioner to cite a stronger section for the decision to revoke the proposal.