The ruling BJP's oldest ally Shiv Sena has stepped up pressure on Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis to rename two cities, Aurangabad and Osmanabad, after the name-change of Allahabad and Faizabad in Uttar Pradesh by the Yogi Adityanath government.
Shiv Sena lawmaker Sanjay Raut tweeted: "Yogi Adityanath has renamed Allahabad and Faizabad to Pragyaraj and Ayodhya. When will CM Devendra Fadnavis rename Aurangabad to Sambhaji Nagar and Osmanabad to Dharashiv Nagar?"
The Shiv Sena has long demanded that Aurangabad be known as Sambhaji Nagar after the son of Maratha warrior Shivaji. It first raised the demand in 2015 after Delhi's Aurangzeb Road was renamed after former President APJ Abdul Kalam.
The Adityanath government recently renamed Allahabad as Prayagraj. On Tuesday, the saffron-robed Chief Minister announced that Faizabad district would be renamed as Ayodhya; critics call it an attempt to bring back politics over Lord Ram into sharper focus ahead of the national elections early next year.
After Yogi Adityanath, his Gujarat counterpart Vijay Rupani has held out the possibility of renaming Ahmedabad as Karnavati. Mr Rupani was quoted as telling news agency ANI that his government was "contemplating changing the name of Ahmedabad to Karnavati, the talks for which have been going on for a long time." He said "legal issues" were being examined.
After Allahabad was renamed Prayagraj by the BJP-led Uttar Pradesh government, social media was abuzz with reports that Himachal Pradesh would follow suit and rename Shimla, a popular tourist spot, as 'Shyamala.' But Chief Minister Jairam Thakur later said the plan had been rejected.
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