The Uttar Pradesh government Tuesday approved renaming of Faizabad and Allahabad divisions as Ayodhya and Prayagraj respectively.
The decision was taken at a meeting of the state cabinet presided over by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath here, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Suresh Khanna told reporters.Prayagraj division will comprise Prayagraj, Kaushambi, Fatehpur and Pratapgarh districts, while Ayodhya division will include Ayodhya, Ambedkarnagar, Sultanpur, Amethi and Barabanki districts, Khanna said.
The decision came a day after the Allahabad High Court asked the Centre and the state government to file counter affidavits within a week on a petition challenging the decision to rename Allahabad as Prayagraj.
Justices Vikram Nath and Rajesh Singh Chauhan of the Lucknow bench fixed the next hearing on Monday.
The sudden spate in changing the names of key UP districts, towns and railway stations drew criticism from not only the opposition but the ruling NDA constituent Suheldev Bhartiya Samaj Party (SBSP) too.
Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav blamed the chief minister for taking credit by just renaming cities.
'Raja Harshvardhan made 'Prayag Kumbh' great by offering donations, but today's rulers are trying to take credit for the work just by renaming the city to 'Prayagraj',' the former chief minister tweeted earlier.
'They (BJP) have even re-named 'Ardh Kumbh' as 'Kumbh'. This mocks our tradition and belief,' he said.