New Delhi: A plea was filed on Monday in Delhi High Court seeking to restrain New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) from issuing a notification regarding changing the name of Aurangzeb Road to A.P.J. Abdul Kalam Road in the late former president's honour.
The plea said that "act of altering the historical name is nothing but an outcome of sick and communal politics".
On August 28, the request to change the name of the road, made by BJP MPs Mahesh Giri and Meenakshi Lekhi and the trade wing secretary of the state's ruling Aam Aadmi Party was accepted by the NDMC.
The PIL filed by advocate Shahid Ali said that the decision to change the name "lacks understanding of history" and the move of NDMC to change a historical name was bound to "adversely affect the image of India as a secular and justice-imparting country".
"Since, the move of renaming appears to be politically motivated and do undermine the contribution of Aurangzeb towards the unification of India, the petitioner feels that the said move will bring bad name and fame to the greatness of India and therefore, the name and secular image of India will suffer adversely."
"The NDMC in utter violation of law and procedure, instead of naming a new road in memory of late A.P.J. Abdul Kalam has renamed an historical road known as Aurangzeb Road to be known as A.P.J. Abdul Kalam Road," the plea said.
It cited the guidelines for naming/renaming of roads, streets, villages, towns etc and installation of statues/memorials to be followed by state names authority, Delhi, provide that the name of existing streets, road etc will normally not be changed and only new streets, roads etc will be considered for being named after eminent personalities.
"Names which are part of history will not be altered. All proposals for renaming will be referred to the ministry of home affairs in accordance with instructions in letter dated September 27, 1975," it further stated.