Lucknow: One of the oldest cities of Uttar Pradesh, Allahabad has been officially renamed as Prayagraj on Tuesday after chief minister Yogi Adityanath's Cabinet cleared the proposal.

"Allahabad will be called Prayagraj from today," state minister Siddharth Nath Singh said in Lucknow after the Cabinet meeting.

Allahabad joins a long list of cities which have been renamed in recent times. Also railway stations and some of the roads have sported new names.

"It might be the wish of many people that Allahabad can be renamed Prayagraj. It will be a very good message. If everyone agrees, we should know this city as Prayagraj and it can be a good start," Adityanath had said on Saturday, talking about renaming Allahabad.

Also, the Gujarat government proposes to rechristen Ahmedabad to Karnavati (after King Karan Dev).

In a way, Prayagraj is returning to the old name of Allahabad. In 1575, Mughal emperor Akbar had changed the city's original name - Prayag. It was named as Illahabad by Akbar.

The Congress party was upset and also protested against the proposal of renaming Allahabad.

State minister and government spokesperson Shrikant Sharma defended the move.

"Some persons are objecting to renaming Allahabad as Prayagraj. The objections are baseless. It is the right of the government to rename any city. If needed, we will rename more cities and roads. The mistakes done earlier will be rectified," he was quoted as saying by PTI.

In August, the Uttar Pradesh government renamed Mughalsarai railway station as Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Junction railway station, after 156 years. It was inaugurated by BJP national president Amit Shah in the presence of railway minister Piyush Goyal and UP CM Adityanath.

There is a sizeable section of Gujarat's population that wants Ahmedabad to be renamed as Karnavati. While a section of Hindus want Hyderabad to be renamed as Bhagyanagar, the city is the capital of Telangana, which is not under BJP rule.

Aurangabad in Maharashtra may soon regain the name of Sambhajinagar. Bhopal may become Bhojpal. Lucknow may turn Lakshmanpur. What is now the capital of Uttar Pradesh was called Lakhanpur or Lachhmanpur till the 11th century.

In this entire series of name changes, it must noted that not all cities are getting back their ancient names. Pt Deen Dayal Upadhyay Junction, for example, is inspired by a late ideologue of the RSS.

This is not the first time that Uttar Pradesh has seen name changes to places. In 2012, eight districts' names were changed by the Samajwadi Party government led by Akhilesh Yadav after they were renamed by the previous regime of Mayawati.

Also in the country, name changes are not new. The graph below shows the name changes effected during the Modi regime