Shinde-led Cabinet gives fresh nod to MVA govt. move of renaming cities

Prefix ‘Chhatrapati’ added to Aurangabad’s new name Sambhajinagar

July 16, 2022 08:36 pm | Updated July 17, 2022 02:44 pm IST - Mumbai

Maharashtra CM Eknath Shinde and Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis.

Maharashtra CM Eknath Shinde and Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis. | Photo Credit: PTI

The two-member Maharashtra Cabinet led by Chief Minister Eknath Shinde on Saturday gave its approval to rename Aurangabad and Osmanabad cities as Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar and Dharashiv, respectively.

The decision to rename these cities was taken at the last Cabinet meeting of the previous Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government on June 29, just before Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray stepped down as the Chief Minister following a rebellion within the party led by Mr. Shinde.

However, Mr. Shinde and Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, who were sworn in on June 30, had termed the Thackeray-led dispensation’s decision to rename the cities “illegal” as it was taken after Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari had asked the MVA government to prove its majority in the Assembly.

During the Cabinet meeting chaired by Mr. Thackeray, Aurangabad was renamed as Sambhajinagar, after Chhatrapati Shivaji’s son Chhatrapati Sambhaji, but the Cabinet led by Mr. Shinde on Saturday added the prefix ‘Chhatrapati’ to it. At present, the State Cabinet only consists of Mr. Shinde and Mr. Fadnavis as its expansion is still pending.

A statement from the Chief Minister’s Office said the minutes of the June 29 Cabinet meeting were approved by the new government on Saturday. “The fresh proposal approved by the Cabinet today will be sent to the Centre, after which the renaming of both the cities will be done at the divisional, district, taluka, municipal corporation and council levels,” it said.

The Cabinet also approved another decision taken by the Thackeray-led government last month of naming the proposed Navi Mumbai International Airport after farmer leader D.B. Patil.

Rival faction protests

Following the Cabinet meeting, workers of the Sena’s Thackeray faction held a protest in Aurangabad against the State government’s move of giving Cabinet approval to a decision already taken by the Thackeray-led dispensation and taking credit for it.

“The renaming of Aurangabad as Sambhajinagar has happened only because of Balasaheb Thackeray. Nobody else can take credit for it. The Shinde-Fadnavis government has given its approval to a decision taken by the Thackeray-led Cabinet only to take credit,” former Sena MP from Aurangabad Chandrakant Khaire said.

Ambadas Danve, Sena MLC and the party’s Aurangabad district unit president, called on the State government to send the proposal to the Central government and “get it passed immediately”.

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