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Maharashtra Assembly passes resolution to rename Aurangabad airport

The Maharashtra Assembly passed a resolution to change the name of Aurangabad airport to Chhatrapati Sambhaji Maharaj Airport
New Delhi: The Maharashtra Assembly unanimously passed a resolution on Friday which made a recommendation to the Centre to change the name of Aurangabad airport to Chhatrapati Sambhaji Maharaj Airport, Aurangabad. It also passed another resolution moved by Parliamentary Affairs Minister Anil Parab to rename Mumbai Central station, as Nana Shankarshet Mumbai Central Station, after philanthropist Nana Shankarsheth. The resolution to rename Aurangabad airport was moved by Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and was passed by a voice vote. The airport is managed by state-run AAI (Airports Authority of India).

What prompted the change in name for Aurangabad airport?

The decision to change the name of Aurangabad airport was taken after the BJP tried to corner its former ally, Shiv Sena, by reminding it of its old demand to rename Aurangabad, a central city in Maharashtra which derives its name from Mughal emperor Aurangzeb, as Sambhajinagar. While Sambhaji was the elder son of iconic warrior king Shivaji,  Jagannath “Nana” Shankarshet was a famous 19th-century philanthropist who played an important role in the infrastructure development in Aurangabad.

Opposition not present when Parab moved resolution

Opposition members were not present in the Assembly when Parab moved the resolution to rename Mumbai Central station as they had staged a walk-out to protest against Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar’s response to the budget. Later, when BJP MLAs Ashish Shelar and Sanjay Kuter returned to the House, they accused the Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress government of doing politics over names. “We (the BJP government) at the Centre will approve the proposal to rename Aurangabad airport after Chhatrapati Sambhaji Maharaj. (But) Why haven’t you renamed Aurangabad city as Sambhajinagar yet?” Shelar asked.