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Malegaon: A controversy is brewing over the naming of the PV Narasimha Rao Elevated Expressway which is to be inaugurated on October 2.


With Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority (HMDA) officials working overtime to complete work on the flyover, some Muslim organisations and political parties are threatening to disrupt the inauguration programme if the state goes ahead with its decision to name the expressway after PV Narasimha Rao, says a report published in Expressonline.


According to the report, Majilis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) wants the State Government to rename it after any personality such as Mahatma Gandhi, Y S Rajasekhara Reddy or Nizam VII Nawab Mir Osman Ali Khan Bahadur. They are strictly opposed to Expressway named after PV Narasimha Rao since he was prime minister when the Babri Masjid was demolished on December 6, 1992.


“As we boycotted foundation laying stone earlier, this time too, the MIM will boycott the inauguration programme", the report quoted MIM MP Asadduddin Owaisi as saying.


“Naming such a prestigious project after a controversial leader is unfortunate,” Asaduddin added.


MIM Floor Leader Akbaruddin Owaisi said that since a major part of the flyover would pass through Muslim-dominated areas, it would be better for the State government to drop the PV prefix and name it after Rajasekhara Reddy instead.


“The MIM will not keep quiet and will fight till PV name’s is dropped,” Owaisi said.


“The issue of the Babri Masjid demolition is still fresh in the hearts of Muslims. Therefore, naming the flyover after PV would only add insult to injury,” Syed Nawaz Ahmed Quadri alias Nawaz Quadri, General Secretary of All India Tahafuzz Masjid Board told Expresso.


The Expressway stretches from Sarojini Devi Eye Hospital, Mehdipatnam to Aramghar Junction (11.5 km).


“Muslims want the Expressway to be named after a ‘secular’ personality,” he said.


On the inauguration day, black flags will be put up on the stretch of the flyover and the convoy of Chief Minister K Rosaiah will be blocked, he said.


HMDA officials told Expresso that they have nothing to say on the issue. The decision to name the Expressway was taken by the late chief minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy.


Some of them wondered why certain parties were raking up the issue now and had not raised any objection during the last three years.


Meanwhile, PV Narasimha Rao’s grandson NV Subhash says that controversy is unfortunate and it is the State cabinet which has to take a decision on the matter.


Previously, political parties in the Old City and Muslim organisations had opposed the installation of PV’s statue at Rethibowli junction, near Rythu Bazar, Mehdipatnam or at Masab Tank. Finally, the State Government put up the statue at Road No 10, near Indo-American Hospital, Banjara Hills.








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