A delegation of BJP leaders on Friday met Mayor Nandkumar Ghodele, a Shiv Sena corporator, to demand that Aurangabad be renamed as Sambhajinagar.
A week after a BJP leader resigned from the post of deputy mayor of Aurangabad Municipal Corporation (AMC), his party has raked up the issue of renaming the city as Sambhajinagar, apparently to corner its ally-turned-foe Shiv Sena. A delegation of BJP leaders on Friday met Mayor Nandkumar Ghodele, a Shiv Sena corporator, to demand that Aurangabad be renamed as Sambhajinagar. Ironically, it was the Shiv Sena, which had first made this demand decades ago. A proposal to this effect had been passed in the general body meeting of the AMC in June 1995.
However, it was challenged by the then Congress corporator Mushtaq Ahmed in the Aurangabad bench of Bombay High Court. After his plea was rejected by the HC, Ahmed had approached the Supreme Court, which stayed the process of renaming the city.
BJP group leader in AMC, Pramod Rathod, and other leaders of the party met Ghodele, urging him to table a fresh proposal to that effect in the civic body. Talking to PTI, Rathod said, “We have urged the mayor to table a fresh proposal in the AMC general body meeting for renaming of Aurangabad as a Sambhajinagar.” “It was late Shiv Sena supremo Balasaheb Thackeray, who had mooted the idea of renaming Aurangabad as Sambhajinagar some 30 years back. His son, Uddhav Thackeray, who is now the chief minister of the state, has a chance to fulfil his father’s dream,” he added.
Talking about the BJP’s demand, the mayor said, “The proposal had already passed in the AMC general body once and sent to the state government then.” “Therefore, the BJP members should ask their party leaders why it was not implemented in the last five years when Devendra Fadnavis was the state chief minister. This is nothing but a political stunt,” he said.
AIMIM’s sitting MP from the Aurangabad Lok Sabha constituency, Imtiyaz Jaleel, said, “Both the saffron parties should stop dragging Aurangabad in order to hide their failures. There are only about four months left for the civic elections and both the parties should focus on constructive work, which they have failed to do in the last two decades.”
A four time Shiv Sena corporator said on the condition of anonymity that in the wake of breaking of alliance of the Sena and BJP at the state level, BJP leader Vijay Autade had last week resigned as the deputy mayor of AMC, therey ending the saffron alliance in the civic body as well. “Fadnavis failed to take a decision over the demand of renaming the city when he was in power and his partymen just want to create problems for the present dispensation,” he said.