As the row over the renaming of Aurangabad to Sambhaji Nagar intensifies, an Aurangabad Samachar report stated that MIM workers created a ruckus in Vaijapur Bus Depot after the display board on one of the buses in the depot read ‘Sambhaji Nagar’ in place of Aurangabad.
A group of alleged MIM workers demanded the Vaijapur Bus depot authorities to hand them over the driver who drove the bus to the depot with the contentious display board. They threatened that if their demands were not fulfilled, they would take action in their own way. The leader of the group also proclaimed that they would not tolerate casteism in the Maharashtra Mahamandal.
“We are not going to tolerate any kind of casteism here. This is Maharashtra Mahamandal and there is no place for casteism here. Bring us the driver who drove this bus here with the display board of Sambhaji Nagar. Bring us the driver, the in-charge and others who travelled in this bus and answer our questions. And if you can’t answer our questions, then we would do what we want and take action what we deem fit,” the man, allegedly MIM worker threatened.
Later, the man was seen lashing out at the depot authorities for allowing the bus with Sambhaji Nagar display board to enter its premises. He then menacingly demanded the depot authorities to hand him over the driver who had driven the bus to the depot.
“The name of the district is Aurangabad and it will remain Aurangabad. Who is that pimp who wants the name to be changed to Sambhaji Nagar? Bring that pimp to me. Listen to me, I want that driver. He brought the bus till here. You ask the on-duty driver who handed over the bus to come here. I am requesting you to summon the driver here. Get that eunuch, the Manuwadi man who got the bus to the depot here,” the man said.
In another report published by ABP Majha, a bus was also vandalised at the Vaijapur Bus depot for carrying the display board reading Sambhaji Nagar instead of Aurangabad. According to the report, stones were pelted at the bus by unknown miscreants after which police filed a case against them and launched an investigation into the case.
Controversy over renaming Aurangabad continues to rage
The Aurangabad-Sambhaji Nagar debate has been raging on for some time now, with the Shiv Sena firmly backing the move to change the name of the city while its alliance partners in Maha Vikas Aghadi alliance—NCP and Congress staunchly opposing the move. Congress state chief Balasaheb Thorat said the rechristening of Aurangabad did not fall under the purview of Common Minimum Programme agreed upon by the alliance partners.
However, Shiv Sena hit back stating that the changing of Aurangabad’s name to Sambhaji Nagar was a popular public demand. Shiv Sena mouthpiece Saamana also published an article wherein it made a case for the renaming of the city and asserted that Muslims of the state don’t regard Aurangzeb as their uncle.
The controversy was escalated when the Chief Minister of the state, Uddhav Thackeray, referred to Aurangabad as ‘Sambhaji Nagar’ through his official Twitter account. However, this did not sit well with the Maha Vikas Aghadi alliance partners, who were displeased with the chief minister using the unauthorised name of the city in his communication.