Amid the ongoing controversy over renaming of Aurangabad as Sambhajinagar, activists of the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) on Saturday staged an agitation in Nashik city by changing the destination board of a state transport bus. The party's city president Ankush Pawar and other activists entered Thakkar Bazaar bus stand and changed the destination board of an Aurangabad-bound bus to Sambhajinagar.
Protestors demanded that the three-party MVA government should change the city's name to Sambhajinagar by January 26. The MNS also criticised the Shiv Sena for softening its stand on the issue due to its alliance with the Congress.
Earlier this week, Maharashtra Congress chief Balasaheb Thorat had said that his party would strongly oppose any proposal to rename the city, citing that changing the names of places was not part of the Common Minimum Programme (CMP) of the three ruling parties – the Sena, NCP and Congress. It was the Shiv Sena, which had first made the demand to rename Aurangabad as Sambhajinagar over two decades ago.
A proposal to that effect had been passed in the general body meeting of 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.