Maharashtra coalition partners Shiv Sena and the Congress on Friday continued to disagree over the name of Aurangabad city as Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray explained his decision to call it Sambhajinagar to honour the Maratha king, The Indian Express reported.
Thackeray said that Mughal king Aurangzeb, from whom the city got its name, was not a secular person. He was responding to the Congress’ objection to the city being called Sambhajinagar. “While our agenda has the word secular in it, a person like Aurangazeb does not fit into it,” he was quoted as saying by the newspaper.
Thackeray had referred to Aurangabad as Sambhajinagar in his tweets earlier this week. “What new thing have I done?” Thackeray asked. “I have done what we have been saying for over so many years and what the Shiv Sena supremo [Bal Thackeray] had said.”
Maharashtra Congress President Balasaheb Thorat, meanwhile, said that politics over the renaming of cities creates a divide among the people, and this was what his party was opposed to. Thorat added that the Congress will explain its view to Thackeray. “It is not about Aurangzeb,” he said, according to The Indian Express. “We also adore Chhatrapati Sambhaji Maharaj.”
Former Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan, on the other hand, said that the matter was not a priority. “This is a three-party government, the issues which are not a priority can be discussed in the coordination committee between the parties,” he said
The Shiv Sena has renewed its old demand of changing the name of Aurangabad to Sambhajinagar in the run up to the civic elections in the city.
Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut said last week that the name change had been initiated by Balasaheb Thackeray. “He changed the name to Sambhajinagar, only the paper work is left,” Raut had said. He had also expressed confidence that the coalition partners will resolve the matter.