Shiv Sena demands immediate renaming of cities in Maharashtra, probe into killing of Avni
While the Sena has made all of these demands earlier, through party platforms and its mouthpiece, this was the first time its ministers did so in a state cabinet meetingUpdated: Nov 14, 2018 00:47 IST
The Shiv Sena hit out at its ally, the BJP, with a volley of demands on Tuesday — rename Aurangabad and Osmanabad, launch a judicial probe into the killing of the tigress Avni, lift the liquor ban in Chandrapur and name the proposed Mumbai-Nagpur expressway after Sena founder Bal Thackeray.
While the Sena has made all of these demands earlier, through party platforms and its mouthpiece, this was the first time its ministers did so in a state cabinet meeting. Sena has five ministers and seven junior ministers in the council of ministers.After the meeting, senior Sena leader and industries minister Subhash Desai held a press conference to make the party’s demands public.
The friction between the warring allies comes to the fore a fortnight before Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray is scheduled to visit Ayodhya to demand the construction of a Ram temple. Thackeray is likely to have a showdown with outfits affiliated to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the BJP’s ideological parent.
On the killing of the tigress in Yavatmal earlier this month, party leaders clarified they were not pushing for forest minister Sudhir Mungantiwar’s resignation, but only demanding a speedy probe. “We also asked the government to rescue the two semi-adult cubs. CM Devendra Fadnavis has asked forest officials to take every possible care to ensure the cubs are safe,” said Desai.
The Sena also demanded that a delegation, led by Fadnavis, approaches the Centre to rename Aurangabad as Sambhaji Nagar, and Osmanabad as Dharashiv — a demand that follows similar renaming of cities by the BJP government in Uttar Pradesh. “While the state has already sent a resolution to rename these two districts to the Centre, we expressed our displeasure over how the government was not pushing the proposal. The CM has assured us that he would lead the delegation,” Desai said.
Following the killing of a police officer by the liquor mafia in Chandrapur, the Sena demanded the liquor ban in the district be lifted. The party also opposed the BJP-led government’s plan to set up a cattle camp in drought-hit areas across the state, and has demanded to supply fodder to farmers by setting up depots.
Sena leader and Public Works Department (Public Undertakings) minister Eknath Shinde handed a letter to Fadnavis demanding that the Mumbai-Nagpur Super Expressway be named after Bal Thackeray. The Sena had initially opposed construction of the highway, after farmers protested against giving up their land for the project. Within the BJP, there has been demand to name it after former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.