India's BJP Demands Tower Honouring Founding Father of Pakistan Be Renamed
06:06 GMT 31.12.2021 (Updated: 18:55 GMT 19.10.2022)
In 2017, the Pakistani government called the Jinnah Tower located in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh "a symbol of peace and harmony". The tower is named after the founding father of Pakistan, Muhammad Ali Jinnah.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh has demanded the name of Jinnah Tower, a popular landmark honouring Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the founding father of Pakistan, be changed.
Revered as a symbol of harmony and peace by locals, the Jinnah Tower located in the town of Guntur, was built between 1942 and 1945. It consists of six pillars with a dome-shaped structure atop. The venue is also referred to as the Jinnah Centre.
BJP politicians on Thursday said that the state government should remove the name "Jinnah" from the monument and the location, as it symbolises the name of a person responsible for the partition of India.
BJP national secretary Y. Satya Kumar said in a tweet that despite Guntur being in Andhra Pradesh, not Pakistan, the tower is named after Jinnah. "Why shouldn't it be named after Indian aerospace scientist and former President Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam or a great Dalit poet, Gurram Jashuva?"
Soon after Kumar's tweet, BJP Andhra Pradesh unit chief Somu Veerraju issued a statement, saying that the party was strongly opposed to the name Jinnah on the monument.
"Jinnah was responsible for the formation of Pakistan by dividing India. He had sown the seeds of enmity among the people of the country", he said.
He demanded the state government rename the tower after any other patriot who worked for the independence of India.
"Not just in Guntur, the government should change the names of all the places in the country that are named after those responsible for the partition of India", Veerraju added.
Reacting to the demands, the state's governing party YSR Congress alleged that BJP leaders were raising the issue of a historic monument named after Jinnah only with an eye to disturbing the communal harmony in the state and creating trouble for the Jagan Mohan Reddy-led government.