[Deoaband is famous worldover for Darul Uloom - the famous Isalmic seminary.]
Saharanpur (Uttar Pradesh): Kicking off a controversy, newly elected BJP MLA from Deoband Brajesh Singh on Friday said his first proposal in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly will be to rename the city, famous worldover for the Islamic seminary, after it's ancient name 'Devvrad'.
"Deoband will be renamed as Devvrad after the BJP government assumes power in Uttar Pradesh", he said.
Brijesh Singh, a businessman turned politician, defeated Majid Ali of Bahujan Samajwadi Party (BSP), Maviya Ali of Congress-Samajwdai Party (SP) combine and Bhupeshwar Tyagi of Ajit SIngh's RLD in Deoband of Western UP.
Brijesh has bagged a total of 102,244 votes and defeated his nearest rival Majlid Ali of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) who got 72,844 votes.
Sitting MLA Mavyia Ali of Samajwdi Party (SP) came third with 55,385 votes. Total votes of Majid Ali and Maviya Ali if added together is 128,229 - some 26,000 more than the votes polled by the BJP candidate in this Muslim dominated city.
Invoking Deoband's association with the Mahabharat-era, Singh said his first proposal in the legislative assembly would be for restoring the original name of the historical place, according to PTI.
He claimed that Deoband's ancient name was Devvrad and evidences to support it were being collected. Places like Rankhandi Jakhwala and Jadoda Panda bear testimony to Deoband's historical connections, he added.
Singh's assertion has not gone down well with Opposition leaders who have rejected the suggestion, even as right wing organisations like Bajrang Dal have supported it.
Ex-MLA Mavia Ali said it would have been better had Singh focused on working for the development of Deoband and ensuring district status for it instead of getting into issues that divide people.
Deoband is one of the five constituencies in Saharanpur district of North UP with a sizeable Muslim population.
BJP and allies are known for communal politics and such controversial actions. After coming to power in New Delhi they supported the change of name of Aurangazeb Marg in Delhi. Earlier, its ally Shiv Sena indulged in "name change politics" in Maharashtra.
The BJP which has won assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh with a massive mandate, bagging 312 of the 403 seats is set to elect its Chief Minister Saturday and the new govt will be formed on Sunday March 19.