Mumbai: The Maharashtra government has issued a notification to officially change the names of Aurangabad and Osmanabad districts to Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar and Dharashiv, respectively, the Chief Minister’s Office stated.
As per the notification, the decision was taken after considering suggestions and objections, which were sought a few months ago. The decision to rename the districts was taken in June 2022
Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, and Ajit Pawar unveil renaming plaques (Twitter/@CMOMaharashtra)
“With the orders in place, the region, districts, tehsils, and villages of Aurangabad and Osmanabad have been renamed as ‘Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar’ and ‘Dharashiv’ respectively,” states the notifications issued by Santosh Gawde, deputy secretary, state revenue department.
“Chief Minister @mieknathshinde, Deputy Chief Minister @Dev_Fadnavis, Deputy Chief Minister @AjitPawarSpeaks today unveiled renaming plaques #Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar and Dharashiv. District, sub-division, taluka, village with Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar revenue division and #Dharashiv district, sub-division, taluka, village have been renamed,” read a post from the chief minister’s office (CMO Maharashtra) in Marathi.
The government decided to modify the names at the sub-division, village, taluka, and district levels after taking into account the recommendations and objections requested a few months ago, according to the notification released by the state revenue department.
On June 29, 2022, during its final cabinet meeting, the former Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government, which had Uddhav Thackeray as its chief minister, made the initial decision. On July 16, 2022, the Eknath Shinde-led administration reaffirmed it.
Following a petition at the high court challenging the same, the decision had been suspended.
The applications were, however, denied, and the state government also received approval from the Union home ministry to rename the two districts, according to a representative acquainted with the situation.
“Government of India has no objection to the change the name of Aurangabad as ‘Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar’ and the Osmanabad city as ‘Dharashiv’,” stated orders issued by Shyamal Kumar Bit, undersecretary, Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) in February.
The MVA administration approved a plan to rename Aurangabad Airport as “Chhatrapati Sambhaji Maharaj Airport” in March 2020 as a goodwill.
Right-wing organizations and the late Shiv Sena founder Balasaheb Thackeray launched the controversial and long-pending demand to rename both the districts and the cities.
The then-Mughal emperor Aurangzeb assassinated Chhatrapati Sambhaji, the son of Maratha King Chhatrapati Shivaji.
It began in the late 1980s after a communal riot in 1988 claimed the lives of over 25 people, and Shiv Sena went on to win the Aurangabad Municipal Corporation elections.
A resolution for the same was also passed by the municipal corporation in 1995 following which the then Shiv-Sena-led government issued a notification seeking suggestions and objections from the people.