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Sharad Pawar’s Salvo On Aurangabad Renaming A Damp Squib

NCP chief Sharad Pawar’s salvo about the renaming of Aurangabad as Sambhajinagar has proved a damp squib as no political party in Maharashtra has reacted to his assertion that his Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) was not consulted beforehand by then chief minister Uddhav Thackeray. Thackeray’s Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) cabinet decided to rename Aurangabad after warrior king Sambhaji Maharaj during its last moments in office. The decision was welcomed all around. However, Pawar during his visit to Aurangabad a few days ago, maintained that the NCP was not aware that such a decision would be taken. Moreover, Pawar said that since the resolution to this effect was moved by Thackeray himself, democratic norms dictated that a proposal by a chief minister is unanimously endorsed by his council of ministers. Critics of Pawar point out that the ultimate cabinet meeting was attended by deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar, a nephew of the NCP boss. Ajit is said to have not opposed the proposal nor did he express any reservations. The NCP ministers present could have requested Thackeray to withhold it but they, too, acquiesced.  In fact, it is pointed out that Sharad Pawar himself has not opposed the renaming. He merely has said that the NCP was not consulted prior to its passing.  The expected storm it seems has withered away without a blast.