Abu Azmi, Samajwadi Party, Maharashtra president, and MLA on Wednesday condemned the decision of the Maharashtra cabinet to rename Aurangabad and Osmanabad.
"Today Uddhav Thackeray government took the decision that Aurangabad will be renamed Sambhaji Nagar and Osmanabad will be renamed Dharashiv. Be it BJP or MVA - that is walking on crutches - want to sideline Muslims," Abu Azmi was quoted as saying by ANI.
"I am sad that the ones we are supporting, who had said that they will now be secular after being with the wrong people for 30 years, are doing this on the last day," Abu Azmi said.
"I'd like to tell Sharad Pawar & Sonia Gandhi that govt is existing with our support...If Govt takes such a step, where will we go?...I'd like to tell Sharad Pawar, Ajit Pawar, Ashok Chavan, and Balasaheb Thorat, what do we do? It's that Muslims are being sidelined. I condemn," he added.
The Maharashtra cabinet presided over by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray approved the contentious proposals of renaming Aurangabad and Osmanabad as well as the new upcoming Navi Mumbai International Airport, here on Wednesday.
Accordingly, Aurangabad and Osmanabad shall be rechristened as 'Sambhajinagar' and 'Dharashiv', respectively, in deference to the wishes of many locals and political groups.
The Navi Mumbai International Airport -- currently being constructed by the Adani Group in adjoining Raigad to decongest Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport in Mumbai -- shall be renamed after the late 'Dinkar Balu Patil', a prominent leader of the coastal Konkan belt, instead of the Shiv Sena founder, the late Balasaheb Thackeray, as earlier contemplated.
These major decisions -- among several others came at what is billed as the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government's 'final cabinet' meeting, with all ministers of the Shiv Sena-Nationalist Congress Party-Congress alliance present.
The renaming of Aurangabad was among the crucial demands of the group of rebels who left Maharashtra late on June 20 putting the MVA government in limbo and now the stage is set for a critical floor test to prove its majority on Thursday.
Meanwhile, Thackeray thanked all his cabinet colleagues and officials for their cooperation in the past two and half years as all eyes were riveted to the ongoing Supreme Court hearing that could have a bearing on the MVA's future.
(With inputs from agencies)