Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Sunday said the names of Aurangabad and Osmanabad districts too would be changed to Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar and Dharashiv, respectively, just like the civic areas.
The Union Home Ministry, in a letter dated February 24, had told the State Government it had no objection to the name change.
However, Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Ambadas Danve had, on Saturday, claimed the change of name of Aurangabad and Osmanabad as Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar and Dharashiv, respectively, only applied to the civic limits and not the entire districts and had questioned the Centre and Eknath Shinde Government on this.
“There should not be any confusion about our resolve to change the names of the districts and tehsils as well. The Union Government has given the approval to change the names, But we need to make amendments in the Revenue Act for this renaming,” Mr. Fadnavis told reporters.
“In a couple of days, we will issue notifications to change the names of the district, tehsil and municipal corporation of Aurangabad to the new names. Once the names are changed, the Maharashtra Government will communicate to the Airport Authority of India and Indian Railways to make necessary changes to their software and codes allotted for these cities,” Mr. Fadnavis said.
Aurangabad derives its name from Mughal emperor Aurangzeb, while Osmanabad was named for a 20th century ruler of the princely State of Hyderabad.
Chhatrapati Sambhaji, the eldest son of warrior king Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, was the second ruler of the Maratha State founded by his father. Sambhaji Maharaj was executed on Aurangzeb’s orders in 1689.
Dharashiv, the name of a cave complex near Osmanabad, dates back to the 8th century according to some scholars. Hindu right-wing organisations had been demanding renaming of the two cities for long.
Meanwhile, Mr. Fadnavis alleged Congress leader Rahul Gandhi had made an “insulting remark” about V.D. Savarkar during the day, which happened to be the Hindutva ideologue’s death anniversary, but the Shiv Sena (UBT) led by Uddhav Thackeray was silent on it.
“I don’t know what it is holding him [Uddhav] back from countering Rahul Gandhi’s remarks,” the senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader said.