The ceremony for naming three tiger cubs triggered a political row in Maharashtra after a chit apparently carrying the name ‘Aditya' was taken back and replaced with another one.
The Maharashtra Opposition leaders linked the name to Aaditya Thackeray, who was a minister in the Uddhav Thackeray-led Maha Vikas Aghadi government that collapsed last year after a rebellion by present Chief Minister Eknath Shinde resulted in an acrimonious split in the Shiv Sena, PTI report said.
The incident, as per the report, unfolded in Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar city when Chief Minister Shinde, his Deputy Ajit Pawar and state forest minister Sudhir Mungantiwar were invited to a function to name two male and one female tiger cubs.
It mentioned after Shinde took out one chit from a glass bowl, visuals of the event showed, Ajit Pawar was requested to pick a chit from another container.
Later, Pawar showed the chit to someone.
“A voice in the background could then be heard saying ‘it's Aditya’ and suggesting that Pawar should go for another,” the report said.
Pawar picked a second chit and the name on it – Vikram – was read out, it said.
Later, it said the three cubs were finally named Shravani, Vikram and Kanha.
However, the chit apparently containing the name ‘Aditya' gave a handle to opposition leaders to slam the Shinde government, it said.
Leader of the opposition in the legislative council Ambadas Danve and Shiv Sena (UBT) said, “Whether from this world (referring to Aaditya Thackeray) or the sky (Sun is also called Aditya), no one can stop Aaditya. This government is even scared of his name,” he said, it stated.
Later, Shinde downplayed a question on the naming row, it said.
“Two chits were pulled out simultaneously during the naming ceremony. Hence, one chit was kept aside. There is nothing more to this,” he said, the report mentioned.
Mungantiwar said, “Such petty issues should not be discussed. A cub born in the wild cannot be named, but the one born here in the zoo gets a name. We are not scared of any Aditya,” he was quoted as having said.
Local MP and AIMIM leader Imtiaz Jaleel sarcastically said there was no need to choose any other names for the cubs, it said.
“The cubs could have been named Devendra, Ajit and Eknath.” He called the episode “low level of politics”. “I do not want to make any further comment on this,” he was quoted as having said.