Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde on Friday said the previous Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government’s decision to rename Aurangabad city, when it was reduced to a minority, was illegal, and would be reaffirmed in the next cabinet meeting. The Uddhav Thackeray-led MVA government announced the renaming of Aurangabad in central Maharashtra to ‘Sambhajinagar’ – after Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s elder son Chhatrapati Sambhaji – in its last cabinet meeting on June 29, hours before Thackeray resigned. . After splitting the Thackeray-led Shiv Sena, Shinde was sworn in as chief minister the next day with the support of the BJP.
“The MVA government in its last cabinet meeting decided to rename Aurangabad as Sambhajinagar when it was reduced to a minority government. It was illegal to hold a cabinet meeting (in such a situation),” the chief minister claimed at an event here. Shinde said Shiv Sena founder Bal Thackeray had announced that Aurangabad – which is named after Mughal emperor Aurangzeb – would be renamed as Sambhajinagar several decades ago.
“The name Sambhajinagar is already there, we will confirm it in the next cabinet meeting,” he said, adding that this would make the decision legally secure. He also said that he rebelled against the Shiv Sena leadership to save the party and its workers. , “Despite being the Chief Minister in the three-party government, we did not get anything politically. We came fourth in the nagar panchayat polls,” said Shinde, who was a senior minister in the Thackeray-led Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress government.
Shinde claimed that the people of the state accepted his decision to revolt as it was in the interest of the party. Meanwhile, Shiv Sena leader from Aurangabad and former MP Chandrakant Khaire, who was loyal to Thackeray, warned that party workers would launch an agitation if the city’s name was not changed within a month. The Shinde-led government had put a stay on the name change. An insult to Chhatrapati Sambhaji, he said while talking to PTI.
“Why didn’t the BJP do the name change work when it was in power from 2014-19? The BJP-led central government did not even pass a resolution to name the Aurangabad airport (for Chhatrapati Sambhaji). The stay of the decision to rename the city was “unacceptable”.