MUMBAI: The rift in the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government in Maharashtra over the renaming of Aurangabad as Sambhaji Nagar has been widening.
Despite state Congress president Balasaheb Thorat’s objections, the Chief Minister's Office (CMO) has been using Sambhaji Nagar for Aurangabad.
While both Congress and Shiv Sena have stuck to their respective political agenda, this difference has no threat to the government.
Shiv Sena has decided to use Sambhaji Nagar even though the change of name has not been approved officially by the Maha Vikas Agahdi just to keep its vote bank happy. On the other hand, Congress is opposing the move though it is falling on the deaf ear.
The difference between the parties surfaced after the CMO, in one of the tweets about cabinet decisions on last Wednesday, mentioned Aurangabad as Sambhaji Nagar. The state Congress took objection to it.
The tweet read: "Approval has been granted to additional 165 beds and creation of 360 new posts at the government medical college in Sambhajinagar (Aurangabad)." Congress leader and Minister for Medical Education Amit Deshmukh was tagged in the tweet.
Soon after Maharashtra Congress chief Balasaheb Thorat tweeted reiterating his party's opposition to any attempts to change the name of the city.
"The Directorate of Information and Publicity should not rename cities on its own. Renaming of cities is not on the common minimum Programme (CMP) of the MVA government," Thorat said. The MVA government is committed to what is promised in the CMP, he said.
"We want to reassert that we are opposed to renaming any city to ensure that social harmony prevails," Thorat, who is also the state Revenue Minister, said. "Chhatrapati Shambhaji Maharaj is our revered deity. The renaming politics in his name should be avoided. Let's work together for Aurangabad's development," Thorat said.