Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Friday clarified that Shiv Sena has not abandoned Hindutva while agreeing to inclusion of the 'secular' credo in the Common Minimum Programme, in deference to the wishes of its ruling allies -- the NCP and the Congress.
In a strong signal to the Congress party, which is opposing the renaming of Aurangabad as Sambhaji Nagar, Thackeray said, ‘Aurangzeb was not secular. Our agenda contains the word ‘’secular’’ but Aurangzeb does not fit in it. The mention of the name Sambhaji Nagar is not new.’’
It is apparent from Thackeray's statement that for him the issue is foreclosed and he was not keen to enter into any further verbal duel with the Congress party.
He has also hinted that the Congress is free to chart its own path. Uddhav also has thereby signalled that the Shiv Sena will not displease its constituency by yielding before the Congress, merely to stay in power.
Thackeray’s statement comes days after state Congress party Balasaheb Thorat and a couple of other leaders reiterated the party’s opposition to renaming of Aurangabad as Sambhaji Nagar, reasoning that the renaming of cities was not part of the Maha Vikas Aghadi’s common minimum programme.
‘’We have been mentioning Aurangabad as Sambhaji Nagar. Even party supremo Balasaheb Thackeray used to do so. There is nothing new. We will continue to mention Sambhaji Nagar,’’ said Thackeray. He has now put the ball in the Congress party’s court.Thackeray has also snubbed the BJP for cornering him and MVA on renaming of Aurangabad.