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December 28, 2022 10:06 pm | Updated 10:06 pm IST – Pune
Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde. File | Photo Credit: PTI
Condemning statements of some Karnataka leaders that Mumbai ought to be declared a Union Territory and that it ought to belong to the southern State, both the ruling Eknath Shinde-Devendra Fadnavis government and the Opposition Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) coalition censured the Karnataka leadership for hurting sentiments of the Marathi-speaking people by repeatedly making provocative remarks amid the renewed Maharashtra-Karnataka border spat.
The latest verbal fracas erupted after former CM Uddhav Thackeray demanded that the disputed districts of Belagavi, Karwar, Nippani and others with a significant Marathi-speaking populace be declared a Union Territory and placed under the Centre’s rule.
In response, Karnataka Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister J.C. Madhuswamy stated that Mumbai ought to be declared a Union Territory while Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA Laxman Savadi reportedly said that Mumbai belonged to Karnataka.
Following the uproar by the Opposition over the remarks of the Karnataka leaders, CM Shinde said that the statements regarding Mumbai were highly condemnable and that “no one ought to play with fire” by making such provocative statements.
“Mumbai belongs to Maharashtra and the Marathi-speaking people… it is not the property of someone’s father that they can just stake claim to it. Such provocative statements cannot be tolerated by anybody. Be it bomb blasts, riots or any other calamity, Mumbaikars have always risen to the occasion and have come together to save the city. [Late Shiv Sena founder] Bal Thackeray has protected it,” said Mr. Shinde, speaking in the Legislative Council.
Likewise, Deputy CM and BJP leader Fadnavis, too, condemned the remarks made by the Karnataka BJP leaders and said that their government will not tolerate anyone staking claim over Mumbai and that Union Home Minister Amit Shah would be requested to reprimand such “loose-tongued” leaders.
“The comments by Karnataka MLAs or the Karnataka Congress president are contrary to what was decided [at the recent meeting of Karnataka and Maharashtra CMs with Mr. Shah]. Will not tolerate any claim staked on Mumbai. We condemn these statements and will send a letter to the Karnataka government on this matter,” Mr. Fadnavis said.
Karnataka Congress president D.K. Shivakumar had asserted that not even a single village in their State would be ceded to Maharashtra while condemning the resolution passed in the Maharashtra Legislature on Tuesday regarding the inclusion of Marathi-speaking villages in the districts of Belagavi, Karwar, Nippani, Bider and Bhalki.
Meanwhile, Leader of Opposition in the Assembly Ajit Pawar said that Karnataka’s leaders had “rubbed salt on the Marathi people’s wounds” with such insensitive remarks about Mumbai.
Shiv Sena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray) leader Sanjay Raut said that unlike the Marathi-speaking populace in the disputed border districts in Karnataka, the Kannada-speaking population in Mumbai city had never been ill-treated.
“Unlike the oppression of the Marathi-speaking population in Belagavi or the border districts in Karnataka, the Kannada-speaking population in Mumbai City has never been ill-treated. Mumbai has always been welcoming and giving respect to people from all over the country, be it U.P. or West Bengal,” he said.
Mr. Raut further added, “Because of the continued oppression of the Marathi-speaking population in Belagavi for more than 70 years, we have demanded the district be brought under Centre’s rule.”
Maharashtra / Karnataka / state politics
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