As politics in Maharashtra heats up over the renaming of Aurangabad to ‘Sambhaji Nagar’, Shiv Sena seems to be trying to forge a consensus among the political parties averse to the name change. Recently, Shiv Sena spokesperson Sanjay Raut, known for being unapologetic and strident in slamming the critics, appeared cautious and conciliatory in responding to the opposition raised by Samajwadi Party Maharashtra chief Abu Azmi against the renaming of Aurangabad.
Raut exalted Azmi as a “wise” man and added that he would have a discussion with the SP leader to iron out differences over the renaming of Aurangabad to ‘Sambhaji Nagar’.
“I don’t think so Abu Azmi opposed the renaming of Aurangabad. I believe, he also supported the apex court’s decision of building a Ram Temple in Ayodhya. This is also people’s decision that Aurangabad’s name should be changed to Sambhaji Nagar. Abu Azmi is a prudent politician. We will talk to him. I don’t think he will oppose the move,” Raut said.
Samajwadi Party leader Abu Azmi opposes renaming of Aurangabad to Sambhaji Nagar
Raut’s charm-offensive comes on the heels of the opposition raised by Abu Azmi against the renaming of Aurangabad. He asked the Maha government to change the name of the state instead. In a video addressed to the Maharashtra government and CM Uddhav Thackeray, Azmi said that by changing the names of the city neither there is going to be any development, nor it is going to end hunger.
Abu Azmi had earlier called Balasaheb Thackeray ‘old and senile’
It is notable to mention that Samajwadi Party leader Abu Azmi in the past had called Balasaheb Thackeray ‘old and senile’. “Balasaheb Thackeray is a worried man. He is so angry with the Marathi manoos that he says he doesn’t even want to die in Maharashtra. People start behaving like kids once they grow old. So I don’t want to demean myself by commenting on him,” Azmi had said.
The unflattering remarks by Azmi, which were made more than a decade ago, had sparked angry reactions from Shiv Sainiks, who threatened the Samajwadi Party leader for his comments against Balasaheb Thackeray.
This was not the only time that Azmi had taken a dig at the Shiv Sena founder’s age. A week before he called Thackeray old and senile, Azmi had asked Balasaheb Thackeray to retire from politics. “Uncle, your time is up. You have grown old. So say things that make others happy. Why do you spread hatred?” Azmi had said.