AHMEDABAD — The Gujarat government said on Thursday that it was considering renaming Ahmedabad as Karnavati.
Speaking to reporters in state capital Gandhinagar, Chief Minister Vijay Rupani said the name change may happen before the Lok Sabha elections.
Rupani's statement comes days after the BJP government in Uttar Pradesh announced it had renamed Allahabad and Faizabad as Prayagraj and Ayodhya, respectively.
"People have been demanding for long that Ahmedabad be renamed as Karnavati. The government is considering this demand. Consultation process has been started (to find out) if legally we can do it. After consultations we will take a concrete step," the chief minister said.
Asked if it could happen before Lok Sabha elections or after, he said, "Before the elections."
Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel said the name Ahmedabad is a "symbol of slavery" and needs to be changed.
"We have started the process of getting legal and other approvals like the nod of the centre," Patel said.
"The name (Ahmedabad) is a symbol of our slavery, while the name Karnavati represents our pride, our self-respect, our culture, our autonomy," he said.
On Tuesday, the day Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath announced renaming of Faizabad as Ayodhya, Patel had said the BJP-ruled Gujarat too can change the name of Ahmedabad to Karnavati "if everything falls in place".
Mayor Bijal Patel said she will seek "guidance" from the government before bringing a resolution for renaming the city.
"Certainly the demand to change the name of the city is there. But we will take guidance from the state as well as the Central government of the BJP for bringing any such resolution in the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC)," Patel said.
As per the AMC website, King Karandev I, a Solanki clan ruler, established the city of Karnavati on the banks of Sabarmati river in 11th century after defeating Bhil King Ashapall.
Gujarat was conquered by the Sultanate of Delhi at the end of thirteenth century, and in 1411 Ahmed Shah, who had rebelled against his overlords in Delhi, founded Ahmedabad next to the old city of Ashval or Karnavati, says the website.
Emperor Akbar conquered the province of Gujarat in 1573. The Mughal rule ended in 1753 when the armies of Maratha generals—Raghunath Rao and Damaji Gaeakwad—took over Ahmedabad.
In 1818, the city came under the rule of the British East India Company.
The BJP and other saffron outfits have demanded renaming Ahmedabad as Karnavati in the past as well.