Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut.(HT Photo)
Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut.(HT Photo)

Ask Congress why it is against renaming Aurangabad, instead of questioning us: Sanjay Raut to BJP

Congress is opposed to the move to rechristen the city saying that instead of emotional issues, the party should focus on matters concerned with people’s livelihood and development during elections
By Swapnil Rawal | Hindustan Times, Mumbai
PUBLISHED ON JAN 04, 2021 11:39 AM IST

Amid a row over renaming Aurangabad Sambhajinagar, the Shiv Sena on Monday said that Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) should question Congress on its opposition to the renaming of the city in Marathwada region, which is due for civic polls soon. Sena leader and chief spokesperson Sanjay Raut said his party’s stand on renaming Aurangabad Sambhajinagar has been clear for three decades.

Sena’s partner in the Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi government Congress is opposed to the move to rechristen the city saying that instead of emotional issues, the party should focus on matters concerned with people’s livelihood and development during elections.

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“BJP, Congress, [Samajwadi Party legislator] Abu Azmi, AIMIM, all the political parties in the country know what is Shiv Sena’s stand on renaming Aurangabad Sambhajinagar. Hinduhriday Samrat Balasaheb Thackeray had renamed it 30 years ago; now the government has to give its stamp which will happen,” Raut said while speaking to media on Monday.

Raut added that the renaming should have happened under the previous BJP-led government. “If BJP is really worried about renaming Aurangabad then they should question the parties that are opposing it, rather than question the Shiv Sena,” he said. “Instead of questioning us, BJP should ask Congress why it is against the proposal. This is not a political fight. They should convince AIMIM as well.”

The Congress’ opposition to the renaming is being looked at as another flashpoint among the ruling MVA allies. However, the Sena has dismissed speculation that the matter could cause a rift and affect the stability of the state government.

In an attack on BJP, the Sena Rajya Sabha MP asked why the BJP-led central government not cleared a proposal to rename Aurangabad airport after Chhatrapati Sambhaji. “The proposal to rename Aurangabad airport as Dharmavir Chhatrapati Sambhaji Maharaj International Airport was sent to Centre nearly a year ago. BJP should go to Delhi and ask the government why this proposal has not been cleared,” he said.

Chhatrapati Sambhaji was a son of Chhatrapati Shivaji, who was killed in the custody of the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb.

In June 1995, the Auranagabad municipal corporation, which has been run by the Shiv Sena for over three decades now, had passed a resolution recommending a change in name of the city. While successive governments failed to bring about a conclusive end to the issue, the Devendra Fadnavis-led state government, too, did not change the name.

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