Maharashtra: Aurangabad, Osmanabad Officially Renamed Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar And Dharashiv

The process to rename Aurangabad and Osmanabad Revenue Divisions in Maharashtra to Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar and Dharashiv respectively has been officially completed following which the two divisions will be known by their new name, an official said, according to an IANS report. A notification was issued by the Maharashtra government to formalize the change of names for both divisions, located in the Marathwada region. The Ministry of Home Affairs also conveyed its consent stating it has “no objection” to the proposal to change the names, thus concluding the process. 

The decision to implement these changes at various administrative levels, including sub-divisions, villages, talukas, and districts, has been confirmed following a comprehensive review of suggestions and objections that were submitted several months ago, the report stated. 

The initial proposal to change the names of the two divisions of the Marathwada region was endorsed during the final cabinet meeting of the previous, Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government, chaired by then Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, on June 29, 2022, just before his resignation.

In July last year, the incumbent Eknath Shinde-led government’s cabinet gave its nod to rename the cities of Aurangabad and Osmanabad as Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar and Dharashiv, respectively.

This decision was further supported when the Central government granted approval for the renaming of both districts in February this year.

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Origin Of The Old And New Names

Aurangabad was named after the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb while Osmanabad was derived from the name of a 20th century ruler of the princely state of Hyderabad. 

Chhatrapati Sambhaji, the eldest son of warrior king Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, was the second ruler of the Maratha state founded by his father. Sambhaji Maharaj was executed on Aurangzeb’s orders in 1689.

Dharashiv is the name of a cave complex near Osmanabad that dates back to the 8th century according to some scholars. 

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‘Foolproof Decision’: CM Shinde 

On Saturday, Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde said that the renaming was made “foolproof”. 

“We have made it (renaming) foolproof. The earlier MVA government took the decision when they were in the minority and their government was about to fall. But we made it foolproof and there are hurdles over the renaming now,” said Shinde, according to a PTI report.

Meanwhile, the Leader of the Opposition in the legislative council Ambadas Danve accused the Shinde government of trying to grab credit for renaming. 

“The renaming of Aurangabad as Sambhajinagar was first mooted by Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray. The decision was taken by Uddhav Thackeray. If the current rulers of the state want to take credit for this renaming, then why they didn’t rename the city between 2014 and 2019 when the Devendra Fadnavis government was in full majority,” Danve said.