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Aurangabad to be renamed as Sambhaji Nagar? Why Shiv Sena’s proposal has pitted it against ally Congress

Aurangabad district is house to Ajanta and Ellora Caves, two UNESCO World Heritage Sites, amongst different monuments. (File Image)

An argument over Shiv Sena wanting the Centre to formally rename Aurangabad metropolis in Maharashtra as Sambhaji Nagar has erupted in the previous couple of days. Ruling Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi (MVA) allies Shiv Sena and the Congress get together are at loggerheads over the difficulty. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), then again, is in settlement with the Congress get together over the difficulty and has attacked the Uddav Thackrey authorities asking them to deal with issues involved with improvement as a substitute of emotional points.

The historical past of Aurangabad

Aurangabad was constructed within the fifteenth century by Malik Ambar of the Nijamshahi dynasty. When Aurangzeb, the son of Shah Jahan took over the Mughal Empire, he made the town his capital and renamed it after his title. He tortured and later killed Chhatrapati Sambahji Maharaj, son of Maratha warrior Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj in Aurangabad the place he lived till his dying.

In the late Nineteen Eighties, the Balasaheb Thackeray-led Shiv Sena began increasing its affect past Mumbai. Soon it got here to energy on the Aurangabad’s native physique and through the victory rally on May 8, 1998, Thackeray renamed the town as Sambhaji Nagar as this was the place the place the Maratha warrior was stored captive and tortured until dying, Chandrakant Khaire, former Shiv Sena MP from the town, stated.

Since then, Aurangabad is referred to as Sambhaji Nagar in all political rhetoric and within the get together’s mouthpiece Saamana. The Aurangabad Municipal Corporation solely handed the decision to formally rename the town in 1995.

The then Maharashtra Chief Minister Manohar Joshi then issued a notification asking public opinion on renaming the town. Then Congress corporator Mushtaq Ahmed challenged the decision by the municipal company on the excessive court docket. The court docket, nonetheless, disposed of the matter. Ahmed then took the matter to the apex court docket that granted a keep on the notification. After the Congress-NCP alliance got here to energy in 1999, the notification for renaming was taken again. Now an NCP member, Ahmed stated if MVA takes the choice once more, he’ll problem the choice on the court docket once more.

Since then, the renaming of the town has been a bone of competition between political events that resurface throughout civil polls.

Why renaming the town is an enormous deal

The BJP has repeatedly criticised Sena about maintaining previous promise with new allies, the NCP and Congress and now difficult its personal Hindutva ideology it has been daring Shiv Sena to impact the change in its bid to nook the get together.

Maharashtra Cabinet in March final 12 months permitted a proposal to rename Aurangabad airport as Chhatrapati Sambhaji Maharaj airport. According to sources, Divisional Commissioner had despatched the report on renaming Aurangabad metropolis to the federal government, however failed to get a nod from the Centre.

Aurangabad is a metropolis with 11.75 lakh inhabitants. That features a majority 51 per cent Hindus and 30.8 per cent Muslims. Imtiaz Jaleel of AIMIM is the MP of the realm who has defeated Sena MP Khaire in 2019. Hence the choice of renaming the town forward the civil polls is a strategic step by the Shiv Sena.

What is at stake for events in renaming Aurangabad

The Sena desires to rename the town to assert its Hindutva agenda appeasing the bulk Hindu inhabitants whereas the Congress get together doesn’t need to upset its Muslim vote financial institution. If Sena pays heed to Congress opposition to the choice for coalition’s sake, BJP will challenge it as Sena compromising its saffron values. If Congress fails to persuade Sena, AIMIM will challenge it as a betrayal to its secular credentials.

For BJP, this can be an opportune second to inflicting a rift within the Sena-Congress coalition. But figuring out that Sena going for a Cabinet decision for renaming would elicit offended reactions from the Congress, CM Uddhav Thackrey may not take the step in any respect.

The concern is not going to solely act as a coalition divider for the BJP however will even give it an edge to mobilise cadres forward of civic polls. The BJP desperately wants a come-back after the setbacks at legislative elections in Maharashtra final 12 months and in Legislative council and native physique elections.

The BJP, nonetheless, can’t use the difficulty an excessive amount of in its favour as it would possibly backfire on its ally with Republican Party of India that too has a Muslim and Dalit vote financial institution in Aurangabad and can be in settlement with Congress opposing any transfer to rename the town. The BJP may also discover a powerful spot if all of the disagreement between Congress and Sena makes them the 2 important opponents. BJP, nonetheless, feels that the Republican’s get together’s opposition will hold Congress from taking the area absolutely.

According to AIMIM MP Jaleel, each 5 years throughout polls the Sena and BJP take these issues to the general public discussion board to divert consideration from different considerations like water, roads, sanitation, open areas, and jobs, and many others. Jaleel in his tweet condemned the difficulty calling the difficulty a approach of looking for ‘cheap political gains.’

NCP, nonetheless, has tried to hold it aloof as a lot as potential from the confrontation up to now. Deputy CM Ajit Pawar stated that the opposition is utilizing the difficulty to trigger a rift between MVA allies and choice on the identical will be taken agreeably.

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