Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi (VBA) chief Prakash Ambedkar on Monday said Pune should be renamed to Sambhajinagar after Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s son and the second ruler of the Maratha kingdom Chhatrapati Sambhaji Maharaj, and not Aurangabad.

Ambedkar also cited the historical significance of remaining Pune after Sambhaji Maharaj, given that his samadhi is in Vadhu Budruk village in Pune district.

“Aurangabad is a historical city. Aurangabad was the second capital during the Mughal period. Meanwhile, Sambhaji Maharaj was cremated in Pune district. His samadhi is in Vadhu Budruk village in Pune district. Therefore, if you think that Sambhaji Maharaj should be remembered, then the right place is Pune. Therefore, it would be more appropriate to name Pune after Sambhaji Maharaj,” Prakash Ambedkar told a Marathi news channel.

However, Shiv Sena in its party mouthpiece ‘Saamana’ said the Congress’ opposition to the proposal is not new and therefore, linking it to a rift in MVA government is foolishness. “The Congress has opposed the proposal of renaming Aurangabad to Sambhajinagar. It has made the BJP happy. But the Congress’s opposition to the proposal is not new and therefore, linking it to the MVA government is foolishness. Even if the name has not been changed in the government records, Shiv Sena supremo late Balasaheb Thackeray had renamed Aurangabad as Sambhajinagar when there was Congress’ chief minister in the state. The people had also accepted it,” it said.

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