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Name Eastern Freeway after comrade Dange, says CPI

"South Mumbai, where the Freeway originates, was the centre of Comrade Dange's movement. It would be appropriate if the Freeway is named after him," joint secretary of state CPI, Narayan Ghagre said.

The party's state unit has submitted a memorandum to Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, demanding that the road be named after late Dange, he said.

"Dange was a great leader and even the Centre has taken note of his stature by putting up his statue in Parliament premises," he said.

"It is essential that people be reminded of Dange who fought for the country's integrity and against fundamental and communal forces," he said.


Motorists using Eastern Freeway.

The 13.59 kilometre-long Eastern Freeway, aimed at reducing travel time between suburbs and South Mumbai, was inaugurated by Chavan three weeks ago and demands have been made to name it after late Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray and Dalit icon Babasaheb Ambedkar. 

The demand for naming if after Thackeray came from Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS), the arch rival of the Shiv Sena founded by Thackeray.

Nandgaonkar said Thackeray's contribution in bringing the state together by way of infrastructure development is enormous.

Nandgaonkar, MNS group leader and a former minister in the Shiv Sena-BJP government, pointed out that it would be appropriate to name the Freeway after Thackeray.

Soon after the MNS leader's demand, Republican Party of India (RPI) president Ramdas Athawale demanded that the Freeway be named after Ambedkar.

NCP had also demanded that the signal-free road be named after Ambedkar.

However, upset with his grandfather's name being dragged into a political fight, Babasaheb Ambedkar's grandson, Prakash Ambedkar, termed the demand of naming the freeway after Ambedkar as a "political gimmick".

Ambedkar, founder of Bharipa Bahujan Mahasangh, pointed out that an existing road from Byculla to Sion was already named after the Dalit icon.
 

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