Amidst spiralling tensions between the members of the Maha Vikas Aghadi alliance over differences on the renaming of Aurangabad to ‘Sambhaji Nagar’, another incident is being reported from Thane district of Bhiwandi which highlights the growing rift between the Maharashtra government alliance parters. Shiv Sena and NCP workers on Tuesday exchanged blows with each other in front of the Election Commissioner in Bhiwandi.
Clashes erupted between workers of Shiv Sena and NCP in an election office in Maharashtra’s Bhiwandi on Tuesday. The scuffle broke out after NCP district president Ganesh Gulvi went to file a complaint at the election office against the unauthorised display of banners of its ally—Sena’s candidate.
A bitter altercation soon ensued between the two sides which quickly devolved into a fierce scuffle between Shiv Sena and NCP workers. Though Shiv Sena and NCP are allies in the Maharashtra government, the two parties have been at odds with each other over Bhiwandi Municipal Corporation for a long time.
After Gulvi expressed his opposition to the display of banners of Sena candidate Praveen Gulvi, a fight erupted between the party workers. A video of the incident in which the two sides could be seen hurling abuses and flinging chairs at each other is doing the rounds on the internet.
The Bhiwandi Election Commissioner Dr Sunil Bhalerao took cognisance of the matter and filed a complaint against the sparring groups for obstructing government work. A case has also been registered at the Shantinagar Police station and a probe is underway.
Rift within MVA widens over renaming of Aurangabad as ‘Sambhaji Nagar’
The incident has added to the rumours of widening rift within the Maha Vikas Aghadi alliance. Though NCP chief Sharad Pawar had recently assured that the Maharashtra government is stable and any attempts to bring down the government won’t succeed, the latest political churning within Maharashtra suggests otherwise.
The Congress party, another alliance partner within the umbrella of MVA government, has already expressed its disapproval of renaming Aurangabad to ‘Sambhaji Nagar’. The Congress state president Balasaheb Thorat had staunchly opposed the proposal for rechristening of Aurangabad stating that it wasn’t in the Common Minimum Programme of the ruling parties.
However, Shiv Sena deflected Congress’ disapproval and doubled on its efforts to build a consensus to change the name of Aurangabad to ‘Sambhaji Nagar’. In its mouthpiece Saamana, Shiv Sena made a fierce case for the renaming of the city named after Mughal marauder Aurangzeb. It said the Muslims of Maharashtra do not regard Aurangzeb as their uncle. Taking a sly dig at Congress, the article contended that Aurangzeb’s grave, which is located close to Aurangabad, is not a symbol of secularism and those who think it is are making a mockery of India’s identity.