Mumbai: A new issue is heating up in Maharashtra these days, due to which there is a conflict between Shiv Sena and BJP. This issue is about the naming of the under-construction international airport of Navi Mumbai. Shiv Sena wants to name the new airport after late party founder Balasaheb Thackeray but BJP is opposing it.
Violent History of Naming Politics
If we talk about Maharashtra itself, then the politics of naming in the state has a violent history. The people of Maharashtra will not forget the uproar over the naming of the University of Aurangabad. There was a movement since 1978 to name the Marathwada University as Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar, but it turned violent by 1994. Shiv Sena and other Maratha factions opposed the conversion. Riots lasted for two years in which many people were killed, 1200 villages were affected and 3,000 people were arrested. The violence stopped when a middle ground was found. The name of the university was changed to Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University.
Once again the issue is of nomenclature and Shiv Sena is at the center of controversy. The airport in Navi Mumbai is yet to be completed. 9 crore passengers will pass annually through this airport being built in 4.5 square meters. The first plane may take off from this airport in the year 2023, but the controversy regarding the naming of the airport has already started. The state’s ruling Shiv Sena has decided that this world-class airport will be named after late Shiv Sena chief Balasaheb Thackeray.
BJP and NCP also got involved in naming controversy
BJP has also jumped in this controversy as local MLA Prashant Thakur has been elected on BJP ticket. Thakur says that he was in the Naamkaran Kruti Samiti but Shiv Sena took the decision without taking his approval and without asking the local body. Thakur supported the demand of the local people that the new airport should be named DB Patil.
Recently BJP MLA Prashant Thakur went to meet MNS chief Raj Thackeray to get support for his demand but there Raj Thackeray took a different direction instead of supporting the demand of giving airport name to DB Patil . Raj Thackeray said that since the Navi Mumbai airport is an extension of Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, the new airport should also be named after Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj.