Ignoring opposition from political parties including the Congress, Madhya Pradesh Government has finally decided to make a proposal to the centre to rename the state capital Bhopal as Bhojpal.
"A proposal to change the name of Bhopal to Bhojpal will be sent to the Centre soon," State Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said here last night at a function to mark the millennium celebrations of the legendary Raja Bhoj's coronation.
"If Bombay can be rechristened as Mumbai, Madras as Chennai, Calcutta as Kolkata and Bangalore as Bengaluru, then why Bhopal can not be renamed as Bhojpal," Chouhan observed at the function attended by BJP's President Nitin Gadkari.
The proposal on renaming the city after King Bhoj was making the rounds since last few days and the opposition parties had said they were against the move.
"We will take to the streets if the name of Bhopal is changed to Bhojpal. Bhopal has stood as a witness to Hindu-Muslim unity for the last 300 years," state Congress spokesperson Arif Masood had told reporters last week.
While CPI's Bhopal secretary Shaliendra Kumar Shaily in a statement had said that the state government's move to change the name of Bhopal to Bhojpal was against democratic and secular values.
"We will organise state wide agitation against the government if it changes the name of the state capital," he had said.
Meanwhile, the BJP-led state government has also decided to rename Bhopal's famous Upper Lake constructed by Raja Bhoj as Bhojtaal and the VIP road as Raja Bhoj Marg.
A huge statue of Raja Bhoj installed on a pillar on one corner of the Upper Lake was also unveiled yesterday.
Taking inspiration from Raja Bhoj's water management skills, the government will spend Rs 25,000 crore on conserving water resources in the state, Chouhan said.