The Bharatiya Janata Party’s Delhi unit chief Adesh Gupta on Thursday sent a list of 40 villages with “Mughal-era names” to the Aam Aadmi Party government, urging that they be renamed after freedom fighters and artists.

The decision to change the names of these villages rests with the Delhi government.

“Every village in Delhi should be known with self-respect and not with any symbol of slavery,” Gupta posted on Twitter on Thursday. “Wrote a letter to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal demanding that 40 villages symbolising slavery be renamed after freedom fighters and great personalities. Hope they rise above politics and give their approval soon.”

This development came a day after local BJP councillor Bhagat Singh Tokas erected a plaque declaring that the Mohammadpur village in South Delhi has been renamed as Madhavpuram. Gupta was also present at the event held to rename the village, The Indian Express reported.

Tokas told the newspaper that the plaque had been installed on demand of the villagers.

In a letter addressed to Kejriwal on Thursday, Gupta suggested renaming two villages after Ankit Sharma and Ratan Lal, who died in the North East Delhi riots in 2020.

Lal, a head constable of the Delhi Police, was the first person to lose his life in the clashes between groups supporting and opposing the Citizenship Amendment Act. Sharma was a security assistant with the Intelligence Bureau.

Other names proposed by Gupta are of singers Lata Mangeshkar and Mohammed Rafi, cricketer Yashpal Sharma and athlete Milkha Singh. Gupta also suggested renaming some villages after Delhi Police officer Mohan Chand Sharma, who died in the Batla House gunfight in 2008 and Captain Vikram Batra, who died in the Kargil war.

“The 40 villages include Jia Sarai, Zamroodpur, Masoodpur, Jafarpur Kalan, Tajpur, Najafgarh, Neb Sarai,” Gupta said, according to The Indian Express. “Delhi is no longer a sarai [inn]. It is the national capital of the country.”

He said that the proposal had been sent after consulting with the villagers and local bodies.

“The youth of these villages no longer want to carry these symbols of slavery and rather want their villages to be known after great sons of the country and eminent personalities,” Gupta said.