The rift in the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government over the Aurangabad renaming issue came out in the open once again after the Maharashtra CMO in one of the tweets about cabinet decisions on Wednesday mentioned the city as Sambhajinagar, even as the Congress took objection to it. The Shiv Sena, which heads the three-party MVA government in the state, has been demanding since the last few decades that Aurangabad be renamed as Sambhajinagar. However, the party is now in alliance with the Congress, which has consistently opposed the proposal.
In a tweet about the cabinet decisions on Wednesday, the state Chief Minister's Office (CMO) said, "Approval has been granted to additional 165 beds and creation of 360 new posts at the government medical college in Sambhajinagar (Aurangabad)." Maharashtra Minister for Medical Education and Congress leader Amit Deshmukh was tagged in the tweet. Taking to Twitter after that, Maharashtra Congress chief Balasaheb Thorat reiterated his party's opposition to any attempts to change the name of the place.
"The Directorate of Information and Publicity should not rename cities on its own. It should remember that official work is a legal document. Renaming cities is not on the agenda of the common minimum Programme (CMP) of the MVA government," Thorat said. The MVA government is committed to what is promised in the CMP, he said.
"We want to reassert that we are opposed to renaming any city to ensure that social harmony prevails," Thorat, who is also the state Revenue Minister, said. "Chhatrapati ShambhajiMaharaj is our revered diety.
Avoid playing the renaming politics in his name. Let's work together for Aurangabad 's development," he said. The civic polls in Aurangabad are scheduled later this year.
The Sena had first made the demand to rename Aurangabad as Sambhajinagar over two decades ago, and a proposal was passed in the Aurangabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) in June 1995, which was challenged by a Congress corporator in the high court and later in the Supreme Court. Last week, Thorat had said that his party would oppose any proposal that seeks to change the name of Aurangabad as Sambhajinagar.