New Delhi, Sep 21 : Delhi’s Race Course Road, where the Prime Minister’s official residence is located, was on Wednesday renamed as Lok Kalyan Marg, ending a row between the BJP and the AAP.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi and NDMC Chairman Naresh Kumar made the announcement at a joint press conference. Kejriwal said the decision was unanimous.
The Prime Minister’s residence and main workplace — 7 RCR or Race Course Road — will now be known as Lok Kalyan Marg.
“We have unanimously decided to change the name,” said Kejriwal, whose Aam Aadmi Party rules Delhi.
But the decision was preceded by some drama after Lekhi, who represents New Delhi constituency in the Lok Sabha, suggested that Race Course Road must be renamed as Ekatma Marg.
The AAP, which along with the BJP has a say in the working of the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC), the civic agency which presides over the heart of Delhi, veted the suggestion.
The AAP first said the road should be renamed after a war hero and on Wednesday proposed that it be named after Guru Gobind Singh.
Eventually, a compromise was reached to call it Lok Kalyan Marg.
“We all joined politics inspired by public welfare (Lok Kalyan),” Lekhi said. “Be it Arvindji, I or the Prime Minister. Nothing can be greater than Lok Kalyan (public welfare), so it should be named so.”
She pointed out that any decision to change the name of a street or area had to follow certain legal procedures.
Lekhi said that Race Course Road — so named because of the Delhi Race Club located nearby — was not an ideal name for a street where the Prime Minister lived.
She said she was all for Guru Gobind Singh but the name of the street with the Prime Minister’s residence should be above religion and community.
The NDMC Chairman added: “The NDMC is empowered to name any public road. There is no need to send any proposal to the state (Delhi) government or the union government. Once the decision is taken by the Council, it will be duly notified.”