Tej Pratap renames Patna’s Atal park as ‘coconut park’; BJP fumed

The decision has attracted criticism from BJP leaders

PATNA | Updated: 21 August, 2023 5:21 pm IST
Coconut Park, that was formerly called Atal Bihari Vajpayee Park.

PATNA: A park named after former Prime Minister and Bharat Ratna awardee Atal Bihari Vajpayee has been rechristened as ‘Coconut Park’ in Patna by Bihar minister Tej Pratap Yadav, triggering criticism from the opposition BJP.

The park, situated in Patna’s Kankarbagh, was called ‘Coconut Park’ until 2018 and was renamed ‘Atal Bihari Vajpayee Park’ after the former PM’s demise as a tribute to him.

A new plaque referring to the park as ‘Coconut Park’ was unveiled by state’s forest and environment minister and deputy CM Tejashwi Yadav’s elder brother, Tej Pratap Yadav on Monday.

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The park hosts a statue of former PM Vajpayee.

Protesting the government’s decision, Union minister Nityanand Rai said that removing Vajpayee’s name amounts to disrespect and insult of the Bharat Ratna awardee.

“Atal Ji resides in the heart of the country. If they (RJD) want to insult him by changing the name of a park, they would see how people of Bihar react in the coming days and you would realize your mistake,” said Rai, who serves as minister of state (MoS) for home affairs.

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He appealed Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar, who visited Delhi to pay tributes to the former PM at his memorial on his death anniversary last week, to intervene and restore the park’s name.

Bihar BJP’s firebrand president Samrat Chaudhary also seized the opportunity to attack Nitish Kumar, who was in an alliance with the saffron camp until August last year.

“This is how Nitish Kumar Ji shows him respect towards Atal Ji. He says something else and does something else,” Chaudhary retorted.

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