Amid the many flashpoints between the three parties of the Maha Vikas Aghadi government, the renaming of Aurangabad to 'Sambhajinagar' has become the latest one. Intensifying the row, CM Uddhav Thackeray's official Twitter handle - referred to the city as 'Sambhajinagar' while announcing an official cabinet decision. Tagging Congress minister Amit Deshmukh, the CM's office announced an allocation of 165 cots and 360 vacancies for cancer hospitals in 'Sambhajinagar'. This has evoked a sharp response from Shiv Sena's allies - NCP and Congress.
Reiterating the same, CMO yet again tweeted:
"काल राज्य मंत्रिमंडळाच्या बैठकीत ३१ डिसेंबर २०२० पर्यंत राज्यातील नियमित न झालेल्या गुंठेवारी नियमित करण्याचा निर्णय घेतला आहे. मी काही दिवसांपूर्वी संभाजीनगरवासीयांना याविषयी आश्वासन दिले होते, त्याची पूर्तता केली आहे...(१/२) pic.twitter.com/aS5rZJGfnZ— CMO Maharashtra (@CMOMaharashtra) January 7, 2021
Responding to this tweet, Congress state chief & revenue minister Balasaheb Thorat said that those working in state government should take care of not doing such things. Congress has announced that they will oppose any proposal to rename Aurangabad as this issue does not find a mention in the MVA's Common Minimum Programme. Similarly, NCP spokesperson & minority affairs minister Nawab Malik said, "There is no program to change the name of any city on the government's agenda".
Addressing a press conference, Thorat said, "The ones working in the state machinery should take care of this as this is a state document. If such an error was made, it will be taken care of in the future. As the tweet has been publicised, it must have come to the notice of the CM. Congress is against renaming any city, how will this profit the common man and his happiness?" BJP, on the other hand, has backed Sena's proposal to rename the city.
Aurangabad was a prominent Mughal city in the Deccan region and derives its name from the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb. Chhatrapati Sambhaji Maharaj, the son of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj was tortured to death by Aurangzeb. In 1995, a proposal was passed in the Aurangabad Municipal Corporation to rename the city as Sambhajinagar.
However, it was challenged by Congress corporator Mushtaq Ahmed in the Aurangabad bench of the Bombay High Court. As his plea was rejected by the HC, Ahmed moved the Supreme Court which stayed the process of renaming the city. The renaming of Aurangabad has been Shiv Sena's longstanding demand.