The Sakal Hindu Samaj (SHS) organised a rally in Maharashtra’s Aurangabad Sunday, in support of the government’s decision to rename the city as Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar. The SHS is a conglomeration of various right-wing organisations and affiliated outfits.
Thousands of SHS activists started assembling in Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar since the early morning and raised the slogan of ‘Jai Shivaji, Jai Bhawani’.
Cooperation minister Atul Save along with activists from various right-wing outfits including the BJP, RSS, and the VHP took part in the rally.
Save said, “Today’s Sakal Hindu Samaj rally is to express our support for renaming Aurangabad to Sambhajinagar. And it is justified. Why should we retain the name of a Mughal ruler who tortured our own king Shambhajimaharaj.”
The AIMIM has opposed the renaming of Aurangabad to Sambhajinagar. Local AIMIM MP Imtiaz Jaleel has previously held demonstrations outside the city district collector’s office protesting against the renaming.
Jaleel said, “The city has been called Aurangabad for ages. It has its own identity in the name. Why should we object to it? We are not in favour of renaming the city. Those who are renaming are playing politics and instilling communal divide.”
However, Jaleel withdrew his protest that was scheduled to be held Saturday. “It is my duty to ensure communal harmony in the city. On Sunday, some right-wing Hindu organisations are holding a rally. I do not want any untoward incident to happen,” he remarked.
On February 24, the Union Home ministry formally approved Maharashtra’s proposal to rename Aurangabad and Osmanabad. The notification stated, “Aurangabad will be called Chhatrapati Sambhaji Nagar and Osmanabad Dharashiv.”
Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis have thanked the Centre for accepting the state’s proposal.
Interestingly, the demand for renaming Aurangabad city goes back a long way. Shiv Sena founder Bal Thackeray raised the demand way back in the 1990s. It was supported by its then ally BJP. However, the issue remained unresolved…
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