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Shinde cabinet approves renaming of Aurangabad, Osmanabad cities

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Mumbai: The Eknath Shinde-led government in Maharashtra on Saturday gave a cabinet approval to rename Aurangabad and Osmanabad cities as Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar and Dharashiv respectively.

The decision to rename these cities was taken in the previous Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government’s last cabinet meeting chaired by the then chief minister Uddhav Thackeray on June 29, just before he resigned.

However, Shinde and Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, who were sworn in on June 30, had said the Thackeray-led dispensation’s decision to rename these places was illegal as it was taken by it after the governor had asked it to prove majority in the state Legislative Assembly.

During the cabinet meeting chaired by Thackeray last month, Aurangabad was renamed as Sambhajinagar, but the Shinde government on Saturday added ‘Chhatrapati’ prefix to it.

At present, Shinde and Fadnavis are the only two members in the cabinet as its expansion is still pending.

A statement from the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) said the minutes of the June 29 cabinet meeting (chaired by Thackeray) were approved by the new government (led by Shinde) at the cabinet meeting held on Saturday.

The minutes of the meeting had come for approval before the new government, which had directed the administration to re-submit the proposal, it said.

“The fresh proposal approved by the cabinet today will be sent to the Centre, after which the renaming of both the cities will be done at the divisional, district, taluka, municipal corporation and council levels,” it said.

The cabinet also approved the decision to name the proposed Navi Mumbai International Airport after farmer leader D B Patil. This decision was also taken in the Thackeray-led cabinet last month.

The CMO statement said the administration was asked to submit a fresh proposal about the airport’s name, which was approved on Saturday.

The Navi Mumbai airport is being developed as a greenfield airport by the City and Industrial Development Corporation (CIDCO) under public-private partnership.

The MVA government comprising the Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress collapsed on June 29 after Thackeray resigned as chief minister, days after Shinde raised a banner of revolt against the Sena leadership. Shinde took oath as the chief minister the next day.

Meanwhile, the Shiv Sena held a protest in Aurangabad saying that the Shinde government’s move of giving a cabinet approval to the decision that was already taken by the Thackeray-led dispensation was only meant for taking the credit.

“The renaming of Aurangabad as Sambhajinagar has happened only because of Balasaheb Thackeray and nobody else can take credit for it. The Shinde-Fadnavis government gave a cabinet approval to the decision that was taken by the Uddhav Thackeray-led dispensation. It is only to take credit,” former Sena MP from Aurangabad Chandrakant Khaire said.

Sena MLC and party’s Aurangabad district unit president Ambadas Danve said, “The state government should now send that proposal to the central government and get it passed immediately.”

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