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In the Last Cabinet Meet, Uddhav Thackeray Renames Aurangabad and Osmanabad

The Cabinet approved the renaming of Aurangabad and Osmanabad to Sambhajinagar and Dharashiv respectively.

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In a major move hours before he resigned as chief minister, Uddhav Thackeray on Wednesday, 29 June, approved the renaming of Aurangabad to Sambhajinagar and Osmanabad to Dharashiv, in an assertion of the Sena's Maratha-Hindutva ideology.

The decisions were passed at the Maharashtra Cabinet held in the evening, where Uddhav Thackeray thanked his cabinet colleagues for the cooperation they extended in the last two and a half years.

The Cabinet also approved the Congress's proposal of renaming the upcoming Navi Mumbai International Airport after late farmers' leader DB Patil.

Sambhaji was the eldest son of Chhatrapati Shivaji, the Maratha king after whom the party is named. He was killed on the orders of Mughal emperor Aurangzeb, who gave Aurangabad its name in the 17th century. Osmanabad, named after Hyderabad's last ruler Mir Osman Ali Khan, derives its new name, Dharashiv, from sixth-century caves near the city.

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The renaming, a long-pending demand of the Shiv Sena, was fulfilled at the Cabinet meeting held before the Supreme Court refused to stay the floor test against Thackeray, which had been scheduled for Thursday.

Thackeray's move comes after the rebel MLAs led by Sena leader Eknath Shinde accused the Thackeray government of diverting from its core ideology after allying with the Nationalist Congress Party and the Congress.

An official said that Thackeray told his Cabinet colleagues that he had been betrayed by his own people. "I also apologise if I have hurt anyone unintentionally," the official quoted Thackeray as saying.

The ministers clapped after chief minister addressed the meeting, he added.

"He thanked the Cabinet for their cooperation, and said the cooperation would continue, " Congress minister Sunil Kedar told reporters.

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