Boundary row: Sena warns of snapping ties with BJP

Mounting pressure on its ally over the border row issue,the Shiv Sena on Saturday warned BJP that it would snap ties with it if its government in Karnataka continued to “torture” Marathi-speaking people.

Written by Press Trust Of India | Mumbai | Published:January 18, 2009 1:16 am

Mounting pressure on its ally over the border row issue,the Shiv Sena on Saturday warned BJP that it would snap ties with it if its government in Karnataka continued to “torture” Marathi-speaking people.

“The BJP government in Karnataka used force against Marathi people protesting against the Assembly session at Belgaum,a border district,and arrested senior leaders like N D Patil,” Leader of Opposition in Maharasthra Assembly Ramdas Kadam said from Belgaum.

“Sena chief Bal Thackeray has asked me to convey to the Marathi-speaking people in Karnataka that it would snap its ties with the BJP in Maharashtra if the atrocities continue,” he said.

His remarks came a day after Thackeray said his party was “ready to accept blows from friends (BJP) if atrocities against Marathi-speaking populace of Karnataka’s border areas continue”.

Reacting to the Sena posture,Maharashtra BJP president Nitin Gadkari said he was not sure what led Kadam to warn of snapping the over two-decade-old ties over the boundary row. “I have said that BJP in Maharashtra is behind the Marathi-speaking people in Karnataka and we feel that the injustice against them should stop,” Gadkari said.

“Snapping ties is their (Sena) right. If they want to take a unilateral decision,it is their prerogative,” he said.

“We have already expressed displeasure over the Karnataka government’s stance on the issue,” Gadkari said,adding President Pratibha Patil,whose candidature was backed by the Sena,should intervene to resolve the over five-decade-old boundary dispute between the two states.

Sena executive president Udhav Thackeray had earlier warned that Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa would not be allowed entry into Maharashtra if “atrocities” against the Marathi people in the southern state continued. Udhav also appealed to BJP leader L K Advani to ‘control’ those perpetrating these “atrocities”.

Thackeray said Yeddyurappa was accorded a red-carpet treatment when he last visited Mumbai. “The same Chief Minister is heaping grave atrocities on the Marathi people in Karnataka,” he said in the Sena mouthpiece ‘Saamna’ on Friday.

The nine-day session of the Karnataka Legislature,which commenced at Belgaum on Friday,is being held in the backdrop of protests by Maharashtra Ekikaran Samiti (MES) which is seeking the merger of 856 villages and towns of Karnataka,including Belgaum,Karwar and Nippani,with the western state.

Karnataka had been rejecting Maharashtra’s claim over the Marathi-speaking areas. The boundary dispute,which has led to violent protests in the past,is now pending before the Supreme Court.

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