After Allahabad became Prayagraj, Adityanath-led Uttar Pradesh government on Monday has renamed former Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav 'dream project' the Ekana International Stadium to 'Bharat Ratna Atal Bihari Vajpayee International Sports Stadium’, 24 hours before the second T20 cricket match between India and West Indies, which will be the city’s first international match at the stadium after a gap of 24 years.
UP Governor Ram Naik has approved the government’s proposal while Principal Secretary (Housing) Nitin Ramesh Gokaran has issued the orders for the change of stadium’s name.
Meanwhile, officials of the Lucknow Development Authority (LDA) said they had made an agreement regarding the same under clause 17.5.1 with Ekana Sports City Private Ltd., and GC Constructions and Development Industries Pvt. Ltd.
War of Credits Unfolds
Furthermore, the war of taking credit is now full-blown between Samajwadi Party (SP) and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) through the hoardings and posters, which have gone viral on social media.
The SP media’s Twitter handle tweeted, "Lucknow will be hosting an international cricket match after 24 years. And the Ekana stadium where it will be played is a result of the vision of Akhilesh Yadav."
Another handle tweeted a post with pictures where Adityanath inaugurated the stadium and said that it was tribute to the former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee by the state government.
Attacking the Yogi government, SP spokesperson Ameeque Jamei told Newsclick, "Uttar Pradesh government was such in a hurry that they gave notice on Monday evening to rename the stadium so that the opposition does not get the chance to protest against this. All hoardings and banners made by our party were removed by the BJP government and its workers. The stadium was built in public-private partnership mode during the Akhilesh Yadav regime. Our government had provided land to this private company that's why we did not announce any name of the stadium but BJP government cleverly renamed it just a day before the second India-Windies T20 match.”
Jamei further added, "After Akhilesh Yadav had already inaugurated the stadium, I don't know why Adityanath re-inaugurated. If he really enjoys cutting ribbons in the name of Vajpayee, why didn't he make a university in the name of former PM? But, of course, he will not do this, as his agenda is only doing politics of hatred.”
The Ekana International Cricket Stadium is an international standard institute situated in sector 7 of Gomti Nagar in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh. The building of thestadium was commissioned by the Akhilesh Yadav government in 2014. The construction of the stadium was completed by a private company Ekana Pvt. Ltd. in two years and eight months.
Earlier, too, the Adityanath government had renamed the Mughalsarai Railway station, a historic spot, to Deen Dayal Upadhyaya junction and Allahabad to Prayagraj, following which he had faced some backlash from the opposition parties as well as ordinary citizens.