To pacify Dhangars, state decides to rename Ahmednagar as Ahilya Nagar | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times
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To pacify Dhangars, state decides to rename Ahmednagar as Ahilya Nagar

Mar 14, 2024 02:49 AM IST

State cabinet renames Ahmednagar as Ahilya Nagar to honor Queen Ahilyadevi Holkar, pacify Dhangar community demanding reservation benefits.

The state cabinet on Wednesday approved a proposal renaming Ahmednagar as Ahilya Nagar, after the queen of Indore Ahilyadevi Holkar who belonged to Dhangar (shepherd) community. The move is an attempt to pacify the politically important Dhangars, who have been demanding a share of reservation benefits given to scheduled tribes and have in the past resorted to protests.

Before the 2014 assembly elections, the BJP had promised to pass a bill giving quota to Dhangar community in its first cabinet meeting if it came to power.
Before the 2014 assembly elections, the BJP had promised to pass a bill giving quota to Dhangar community in its first cabinet meeting if it came to power.

Before the 2014 assembly elections, the BJP had promised to pass a bill giving quota to Dhangar community in its first cabinet meeting if it came to power. However, the BJP-Shiv Sena government could not keep its word due to legal issues. Recently, the Eknath Shinde-led government doubled the number of scholarships to 10,000 for Dhangar students to study in English medium schools.

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Read Here | Ahmednagar to Ahilyanagar: The flair for name-dropping

While participating in the birth anniversary function of Punyashlok Ahilya Devi Holkar at her birthplace Chaundi in Ahmednagar district on May 31, 2023, Shinde had announced that his government would rename Ahmednagar.

“The Ahmednagar municipal corporation had approved the resolution in its general body meeting about the renaming, and the divisional commissioner of Nashik division also sent his report to the government. Accordingly, the state cabinet approves to rename Ahmednagar city and district. Now it will be sent for the approval of the union government and after that the state revenue department will complete the procedure to rename Ahmednagar city, tehsil and district,” the proposal before the cabinet said.

Dhangar community has a significant presence in about 12 Lok Sabha constituencies, including Ahmednagar, Solapur, Madha, Sangli, Baramati, Shirur, Parbhani, Buldhana, Yavatmal-Washim and Hingoli.

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