'Sad you are doing this on last day': Samajwadi Party MLA Abu Asim Azmi's dig at Shiv Sena over renaming of cities

Updated on Jun 29, 2022 11:49 PM IST
Chief minister Uddhav Thackeray on Wednesday evening - hours before he quit as Maharashtra CM - renamed Aurangabad as Sambhajinagar and Osmanabad as Dharashiv.
Samajwadi Party leader and Maharashtra unit chief Abu Asim Azmi (Credit: ANI)
Samajwadi Party leader and Maharashtra unit chief Abu Asim Azmi (Credit: ANI)

The Samajwadi Party has expressed disappointment over the Maharashtra cabinet's decision to rename two cities and name a new airport after a Bharatiya Janata Party leader, accusing the Shiv Sena-led ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi of 'sidelining Muslims'. The party's state chief, Abu Asim Azmi, also took a jab at the Sena - in disarray after Eknath Shinde's revolt led to chief minister Uddhav Thackeray resigning - saying it had rushed this through 'on the last day'.

"Today the Uddhav Thackeray government took the decision Aurangabad will be renamed Sambhaji Nagar and Osmanabad will be renamed Dharashiv. Be it BJP or MVA - that is walking on crutches - want to sideline Muslims," Abu Azmi said.

"I am sad that the ones we are supporting... who had said they will now be secular after being with the wrong people (a reference to the BJP) for 30 years, are doing this on the last day," he added.

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Abu Azmi's comment was significant because the Samajwadi Party had reportedly been set to back the MVA government in any floor test.

The party has two MLAs in the Maharashtra assembly - Azmi from Mankhurd Shivaji Nagar and Rais Kasam Shaikh from Bhiwandi (East).

READ: Uddhav Thackeray cabinet renames Aurangabad as Sambhajinagar

The Samajwadi Party leader also had a warning for Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and Nationalist Congress Party leader Sharad Pawar - whose outfits are aligned with the Sena.

"I'd like to tell Sharad Pawar and Sonia Gandhi that (this) government is existing with our support... If government takes such a step, where will we go? I'd like to ask Sharad Pawar, Ajit Pawar, Ashok Chavan, Balasaheb Thorat, what do we do?" he asked.

"It's that Muslims are being sidelined. I condemn (this)," Azmi said.

Chief minister Uddhav Thackeray's cabinet Wednesday evening renamed Aurangabad as Sambhajinagar and Osmanabad as Dharashiv.

It also said the name the new airport inNavi Mumbai would be named after former Bharatiya Janata Party leader DB Patil.

The decisions came as the Supreme Court was hearing a flurry of arguments over the legality of governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari's call floor test call, the verdict of which went against the Sena.

With input from ANI

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