The Shiv Sena on Monday slammed Maharashtra BJP president Chandrakant Patil for demanding that the city of Aurangabad be renamed as 'Sambhajinagar' after Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj's elder son, Sambhaji.
An editorial in Shiv Sena mouthpiece 'Saamana' reminded the BJP that"Aurangabad was renamed as Sambhajinagar by Sena supremo late Balasaheb Thackeray 25 years ago".
The central Maharashtra city, now a prominent industry centre, was given its name by the 17th century Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb.
Patil last week demanded that the Shiv Sena-led state government rename Aurangabad as 'Sambhajinagar'.
The BJP leader said "we are descendants of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj and his son Sambhaji Maharaj, and not of Aurangzeb. Therefore Aurangabad should be renamed as Sambhajinagar by resolving all technical difficulties".
Taking a dim view of Patil's remarks, the Shiv Sena said, "What was the need for him to saythey are descendants of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. Nobody here is a descendant of Aurangazeb."
The BJP has been taking Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj's name in the last five years. But now, they have the "audacity" to compare Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, it said while referring to the controversial book, titled 'Aaj ke Shivaji: Narendra Modi'.
The BJP was in power in the state for last five years and it is still ruling at the Centre, the Shiv Sena noted.
"Why didn't you (BJP) rename Aurangabad? Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has changed the name of Allahabad and other cities of UP. The BJP needs to remember that Aurangabad was renamed as Sambhinagar 25 years ago by Balasaheb," the Marathi daily said.
It said the BJP has neither given Bharat Ratna to Hindutva ideologue V D Savarkar nor laid a single brick for Chhatrapati Shivaji's memorial in Mumbai.
"It only wants to play politics over nationalism," the Uddhav Thackeray-led party alleged.
Notably, it was the Shiv Sena, the BJP's friend- turned-foe, which had first demanded renaming of Aurangabad as Sambhajinagar.