MUMBAI – A BJP MLA in Maharashtra has resurrected his demand to rename Ahmednagar as ‘Ahilyanagar’ – after the warrior queen, ‘Punyashlok’ Ahilyadevi Holkar, here on Monday.
BJP MLA Gopichand Padalkar raised the plea on grounds that Ahilyadevi Holkar (1725-1795) was born in Chaundi village in Ahmednagar district to a Marathi family, and later went onto become the queen of the Malwa state (from 1767 till her death).
Speaking to mediapersons, Padalkar expressed confidence that under Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis’ leadership, the decision would be taken soon.
Earlier in June 2022, Padalkar had written to then Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray with a similar plea, even as the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena had wanted Ahmednagar to be rechristened as ‘Ambikanagar’.
The demand comes close on the heels of the recent renaming of Aurangabad as ‘Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar’ and Osmanabad as ‘Dharashiv’.
Another a clamour to rename Pune as ‘Jijaunagar’ — in the memory of Jijamata, the mother of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj — was raised last month by Nationalist Congress Party MLC, Amol Mitkari.
Incidentally, former Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan had authored a book titled ‘Matoshree’ on Ahilyadevi Holkar, the Indore airport has been named as ‘Devi Ahilyabai Holkar Airport’, two universities have been named after her in Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra (Solapur), several roads, buildings, public places have been named in her memory, a statue of her stands in the Parliament complex, busts and statues have been put up in different parts of India, among others. She has also been immortalised in several films, documentaries and television serials. -IANS