The Eknath Shinde-led Maharashtra government has decided to rename another Muslim-dominated district. From now on, Ahmednagar city will be renamed Ahilyadevi Holkar, Chief Minister Eknath Shinde announced - a demand which has been pressed by some BJP leaders for long.
According to the government, Rajmata Ahilyabai was born in Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra and hence the city should be named after her.
As per history, Ahmednagar was the capital of the Nizamshahi Sultans. The city was founded in 1494 by Ahmed Nizamshah, the first Sultan of the Nizamshahi dynasty. Ahmednagar and Sangamner are largest cities in the district.
For the last several years, BJP leaders were demanding to change the name of Ahmednagar to Ahilyadevi Holkar.
Chhatrapati Sambhaji, the eldest son of warrior king Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, was the second ruler of the Maratha state founded by his father. Dharashiv, the name of a cave complex near Osmanabad, dates back to the 8th century as per some scholars.
Welcoming the Eknath Shinde government's decision, BJP spokesperson Ram Kadam said, "We welcome the decision of Maharashtra CM Eknath Shinde to change the name of Ahmednagar to Ahilyabai Holkar Nagar. Now Sharad Pawar, Uddhav Thackeray or Congress will have to answer why they didn't pay attention to this long-pending demand."