Politics over the renaming of Aurangabad to Sambhajinagar intensified on Saturday, with Maratha activists hitting the streets against the Congress.
In Aurangabad, Maratha Kranti Morcha activists burned the effigy of Maharashtra Congress president and state Revenue Minister Balasaheb Thorat, who had opposed the renaming.
Ahead of civic elections in Aurangabad, the ruling Shiv Sena has yet again reignited its three decade old demand for renaming of Aurangabad to Sambhajinagar. With an eye on the upcoming poll, the Shiv Sena is keen to adopt a resolution in this regard in the state cabinet.
While the NCP has so far maintained a stoic silence, the Congress is clearly not on board. On Friday, Thorat had made it categorically clear that his party was opposed to the proposal. “The renaming issue is not a part of the Common Minimum Programme (CMP). Renaming Aurangabad is not a part of it. We will be opposed to such things,” Thorat said on Friday.
On Saturday, another Congress leader Sanjay Nirupam fired a salvo at the Shiv Sena over the issue. “The renaming issue is an old agenda of the Shiv Sena. But this is a three party government. A CMP has been formulated for the functioning of government, and renaming isn’t a part of it. The government won’t work on personal agendas, but on the basis of the CMP,” said Nirupam. Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut, however, dismissed allegations of a rift in ruling coalition.
“There are no differences between the allies. We will sort the issue with our allies,” said Raut. The BJP has been trying to exploit the wedge for political gains.
The Maharashtra Navnirman Sena, too, has begun putting pressure on the Shiv Sena on the issue.