Even as the Maharashtra government hangs on to power amid a rebellion, the state cabinet led by Uddhav Thackeray, Wednesday, approved renaming of Aurangabad to Sambhajinagar and Osmanabad to Dharashiv, apparently to be seen as true keepers of the party’s Maratha-Hindutva ideology.
While there remain possible legal tangles in such renaming — something Uddhav Thackeray, too, said last year — it’s a crucially timed political move.
Sambhaji was the eldest son of Chhatrapati Shivaji, the Maratha king after whom the party is named. He was killed on the orders of Mughal emperor Aurangzeb, who gave Aurangabad its name in the 17th century. Renaming it after Sambhaji has for long been Shiv Sena’s demand. Ally Congress supported the move today, though it had earlier said renaming “should not be a political agenda.”
Osmanabad, named after Hyderabad’s last ruler Mir Osman Ali Khan, derives its new name, Dharashiv, from 6th-century caves near the city. This, too, has been on the Sena’s agenda for a while.Rebels led by Eknath Shinde have been challenging Team Thackeray on the plank of ideology. They insist that the party should break up with the NCP and Congress to resume a tie-up with “natural ally” BJP.
The cabinet also decided to name the new airport in Navi Mumbai after DB Patil, a leader of the people displaced to build the satellite town.
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