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Azad Nagar renamed after Ajgaonkar, tension ensues

Azad Nagar renamed after Ajgaonkar, tension ensues

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09 Oct 2019 No comment 18 hits

MARGAO: Dussehra celebrations at Azad Nagar, the slum area along Margao’s Konkan Railway station, acquired a political hue after a group of supporters of deputy chief minister Manohar Ajgaonkar popularly called ‘Babu’ decided to rechristen the locality as ‘Babu Nagar’ and erected a board to announce the change. Tension gripped the area after the new board was put in place.
The move assumes significance as almost all the residents of this Azad/Babu Nagar owe allegiance to Ajgaonkar. In 1996, Ajgaonkar had championed the cause of slum dwellers and fought for their rehabilitation after they were displaced during the construction of the Konkan Railway in 1993. The 70-odd migrant families got 135 plots for rehabilitation and the locality came to be known as Babu Nagar.
As political equations changed, following the defection of Margao MLA Digambar Kamat from BJP to Congress in 2006, Babu Nagar came to be known as Azad Nagar and a board announcing its supposedly apolitical name was erected. From 135 hutments less than 25 years ago to a sprawling slum housing nearly 1,500 voters, Azad Nagar now serves as a vote bank for politicians.
With Ajgaonkar defecting to BJP from Congress earlier this year and holding the deputy chief minister’s position, his supporters thought it fit to express their jubilation by re-naming the area in the honour of their political master.

Source: Azad Nagar renamed after Ajgaonkar, tension ensues

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