Bharatiya Janata Party's recently elected lawmaker Brijesh Singh has said that Deoband used to be called "Dev Vrand" during the time of Mahabharata and the Pandava brothers spent one year in the area located in modern-day Saharanpur in northern Uttar Pradesh.
Singh will propose that Deoband be renamed to "Dev Vrand" in the first session of UP Assembly.
Deoband is home to the Darul Uloom Deoband, the largest Islamic seminary in India. Singh beat BSP's (Bahujan Samaj Party) Majid Ali and SP's (Samajwadi Party) Mavia Ali in the Muslim-majority constituency in the recently concluded Assembly polls. He won almost 30,000 more votes than the runner-up from the BSP. The BJP blew the competition away by winning 312 out of 403 Assembly seats.
The victory of BJP candidates in Muslim-dominated constituencies has been put down to division of Muslim votes between the SP and the BSP.
Singh told The Indian Express, "Deoband is just a perception as this town is always famous as Dev Vrand only. We have Mahabharat's Rankhandi here and the five Pandavas have worshiped here in Dev Vrand."
The lawmaker told The Economic Times, "But later the name was changed to Deoband, after the Darul Uloom Deoband school was set up here. Why should the town be known only by the school when its history related to the Mahabharata is age-old? I will press this issue in the state assembly."
Singh, who secured 1,02,000 votes from Deoband, has claimed that the majority of Muslim women voted for him because they support the Modi government's stand against Triple Talaq. "Meri Muslim behne Modi ji ke sath hai aur woh bhi chahti hain ki teen Talaq band ho," he told The Indian Express. (My Muslim sisters are with Modi ji, they also want an end to Triple Talaq."
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