Maharashtra’s Aurangabad renamed Sambhajinagar

January 4th, 2011 - 10:40 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party Aurangabad, Jan 4 (IANS) A resolution to rename this historic city Sambhajinagar, after the son of Maratha chieftain Chhatrapati Shivaji, was approved Tuesday by the Aurangabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) - but this will have to be ratified by the state and central governments before it is implemented.Several centuries ago, the city had been named Aurangabad after Mughal emperor Aurangzeb, whose mortal remains are buried in the city.

This is the second time that the AMC has approved the proposal, but this time amidst stiff resistance from opposition Congress-Nationalist Congress Party corporators.

A similar resolution was passed in 1995, while Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray had started referring the city as Sambhajinagar since 1988 - and all partymen followed suit.

Maharashtra Congress chief Manikrao Thakre, terming the move as “a drama which cannot change historic realities,” claimed that the people would not accept it.

“They (Shiv Sena) have been after changing the name of Aurangabad since very long, but such drama cannot change the historic realities,” Thakre told IANS.

The move comes barely a week after the Pune civic authorities shifted a statue of the legendary Dadoji Konddev, Shivaji’s teacher, from the prime Lal Mahal area amid stiff opposition from the Shiv Sena and Bharatiya Janata Party.

The AMC move will need the assent of the central and state governments before it can be implemented, Mayor Anita Ghodele said.

Political circles in Maharashtra, however, hinted that ratification of the proposal may be tough, given the fact that the Congress is ruling both in the state and the centre.

Moreover, it would not like to hurt the sentiments of Aurangabad’s nearly 60 percent minority population, a Congress leader said.

Aurangabad was founded and developed into a key city of the Mughal empire by Aurangzeb.

Besides his grave, the city also has a fort built by Aurangzeb, his wife’s mausoleum, called Bibi Ka Maqbara, which was constructed by Aurangzeb’s son and is called the alternate Taj Mahal.

The city is also known for the world famous Ajanta-Ellora cave temples that tourists from all over the world throng every year.

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