Maharashtra govt renames Aurangabad, Osmanabad and Navi Mumbai airport amid rebellion
Mumbai/IBNS/UNI: Even as the Uddhav Thackeray-led Maharashtra government is facing a challenge to prove its majority amid a rebellion by Eknath Shinde and his team, the state's Cabinet on Wednesday gave approval for the renaming of two cities in the Marathwada region-- Aurangabad and Osmanabad -- as Sambhaji Nagar and Dharashiv, respectively.
The Cabinet meeting, presided by state Uddhav Thackeray, was attended by most of the NCP, Congress and some ministers of Shiv Sena, who are with Thackeray.
The Cabinet also gave a nod to rename the Navi Mumbai International Airport as D B Patil International Airport.
Speaking after the Cabinet meeting, CM Thackeray expressed dismay over being betrayed by the MLAs of his own party.
"I was betrayed by the MLAs of my own party," he added and thanked the allied parties, NCP and Congress, for their cooperation during the past two and half years.
It may be noted that late Shiv Sena founder Bal Thackeray had demanded to rename Aurangabad and Osmanabad many years ago.
Sambhaji was the eldest son of Chhatrapati Shivaji, the Maratha king after whom the party is named. He was killed on the orders of Mughal emperor Aurangzeb, who gave Aurangabad its name in the 17th century.
Renaming the same after Sambhaji has for long been Shiv Sena's demand.
Osmanabad, named after Hyderabad's last ruler Mir Osman Ali Khan, derives its new name, Dharashiv, from 6th-century caves near the city. This, too, has been on the Sena's agenda for a while.
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court is hearing Thackeray's plea against an order by the governor to prove his majority Thursday.
Shiv Sena rebels, who have ignored Thackeray's appeals to return, have left Guwahati.
Team Thackeray has gone to the apex court with the argument that Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari's order is illegal as 16 rebel MLAs are yet to respond on their possible disqualification.