The Bharatiya Janata Party-led Jammu Municipal Corporation on Sunday decided to rename the City Square in Jammu the “Bharat Mata Chowk”, PTI reported. The corporation passed a resolution to change the name of the city’s commercial hub.

“I had moved a resolution in the general house some four months ago demanding renaming of the ‘City Chowk’’ to ‘’Bharat Mata Chowk’ on the popular demand of the public,” BJP leader and Jammu Municipal Corporation Deputy Mayor Purnima Sharma said. She said the corporation adopted the resolution.

Sharma added that the place is historic and has been witness to major decisions and protests in the past. “Every year people are hoisting the tricolour on Republic and Independence days in this chowk,” she said. “There was a popular demand from the public to rename this chowk as Bharat Mata Chowk.”

The corporation also decided to rename the starting point of the circular road the “Atal Chowk”, after former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

However, V Gupta, the joint secretary of the Kanak Mandi Market Association, was not impressed. “They placed the board overnight without consulting the locals,” he said. “This is the oldest residential and commercial area of the city and known by the name of City Square. It came as a big surprise for us.”

The BJP had won the Jammu Municipal Corporation polls in October last year by a large margin, securing 43 of the 75 seats. The elections were boycotted by the Congress, the National Conference and the People’s Democratic Party.

The Centre had on August 5 last year scrapped the special status of Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 of the Indian Constitution, imposed a curfew in the region and divided it into the two Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.